PH, Hungary sign deals


    The Philippines and Hungary have pledged to cooperate on food safety, water technology and risk reduction.

    At the second session of the Philippine-Hungarian Joint Commission on Economic Cooperation was held in Makati City on December 3 and 4, both sides exchanged information on the economic development and economic policies being implemented in each country and how the Philippines and Hungary could coordinate their efforts to address the impact of the new coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic and how to build back better in a post-pandemic scenario.

    After the official meetings, the following agreements were signed: a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Food and Drug Administration of the Republic of the Philippines and the Ministry of Agriculture of Hungary on cooperation on food safety; MOU between the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council of the Office of Civil Defense and the Hungarian Water Technology Corporation Ltd.; and strategic cooperation of Undertaking between the Laguna Lake Development Authority and Hungarian Water Technology Corporation Ltd..

    Both sides highlighted the possibility of the collaboration among their startups.

    Both sides also recognized the importance of enhancing bilateral trade and investment flows, and strengthening technical cooperation in light of the current pandemic.

    The Philippines presented opportunities in pharmaceuticals, PPE-manufacturing, and medical devices. Specific cooperation initiatives in the field of electronics were also presented such as collaboration in integrated circuit (IC) design and establishment of closer relations between Philippine and Hungarian electronics industry associations.

    Hungary offered its expertise in integrated river basin management, planning, drinking and wastewater management to mitigate the negative water-related effects of climate change, including those related to droughts and water scarcity; flood management, water resource management, transboundary cooperation as well as water related education.

    Animal husbandry and rice and crop biotechnology research, transportation, health, as well as information and communication technologies and digitalization, energy, environment and biodiversity, and dual vocational education and training were also identified as areas for cooperation.

    The Philippine delegation was headed by Ceferino Rodolfo, undersecretary of the Department of Trade and Industry while the Hungarian delegation was headed by István Joó, deputy state secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary.