By Alexis Romero
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines and Brunei have agreed to cooperate in developing their halal industry and explore ways to enhance their collaboration in the energy sector.
Bilateral cooperation on halal industry and energy were among the topics discussed by President Duterte and Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah during their meeting Thursday in Malacañang.
Bolkiah is in the country for a state visit that coincided with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations meeting.
“The leaders discussed ways to strengthen and deepen bilateral trade and economic relations and reiterated commitment to explore further opportunities including greater business exchanges and cooperation,” Duterte and Bolkiah said in a joint statement.
Duterte and Bolkiah witnessed the signing of the memorandum of agreement on halal industry and halal products development.
The agreement provides the framework for bilateral cooperation to mutually develop each other’s halal industry and products and services through exchange of investment, products, technology and best practices. It would also allow the two countries to explore opportunities in the emerging global market for halal products and services, which has been estimated at $2 trillion.
“On the halal industry, we are interested to develop a partnership with the Philippines for investment and the production of halal products,” Bolkiah said after his meeting with Duterte.
“I am pleased that we signed agreements on cultural cooperation and cooperation in halal industry and halal products and services. These are positive steps in the right direction. They provide the framework for us to work even more closely,” Duterte said.
Halal is an Arabic word for “permissible” and usually applies to food allowed under Islamic law. The term also covers items like banking finance, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and logistics
Duterte and Bolkiah also agreed to explore ways to boost the energy cooperation between their countries. They also expressed satisfaction with the energy cooperation between Brunei National Petroleum Co. Sendirian Bhd and Philippine National Oil Co.
“On energy, we agreed to further enhance cooperation by exploring potential downstream and upstream activities,” Bolkiah said.
The Brunei leader also expressed openness to “identify potential areas of collaboration in downstream and upstream activities for the mutual benefit of the two countries.”
The Philippines and Brunei also signed a memorandum of agreement on cultural cooperation, which seeks to promote and enhance the understanding of the two countries’ arts and culture.
Source: Phil Star Global, 29/4/17