Norwegian FM in PH for official visit

Posted at 01/07/2014 10:02 AM | Updated as of 01/07/2014 10:02 AM

MANILA – Norway's Foreign Minister Børge Brende will be in the Philippines from January 7 to 9 for an official visit, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.

The DFA said Brende will meet Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario in Manila "to take stock of bilateral relations and find new ways of expanding areas for cooperation in the fields of trade, investments and maritime cooperation."

Brende is also scheduled to visit Tacloban City in Leyte and Basey in Samar, two of the areas devastated by super typhoon "Yolanda," to see the Norweigan humanitarian operations and discuss his country's role in the Philippines' recovery from the typhoon.

The Norwegian foreign minister will also meet Presidential Adviser on Peace Process Teresita Deles to discuss Norway's role as third country facilitator for peace talks with the communist group and its participation in the International Monitoring Team in Mindanao.

The improvement in trade and investment flows between the Philippines and Norway will also be discussed aside from the reconstruction program and the peace processes in the bilateral consultations.

"The Philippines’ good economic performance has been noted as positive factor for trade and investments opportunities. Norway is the Philippines' 61st export market in 2012 and Norwegian investments are mostly in maritime and power sectors," the DFA said.

"Norwegian ship owners employ more than 20,000 Filipino seafarers. Norway actively supports and provides technical assistance to the Philippines' compliance with international maritime standards."

The DFA said diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Norway were established in 1948. There are an estimated 17,400 Filipinos in Norway as of June 2013, working as nurses, nursing aides, caregivers, engineers and housekeepers.