DA Senior Undersecretary Domingo F. Panganiban met with the Italian Ambassador, His Excellency Marco Clemente, and First Secretary, Mr. Eugeniu Rotaru, on September 30, 2022.
During the meeting, the Senior Undersecretary highlighted the 40% increase in agriculture trade between the Philippines and Italy in 2021. With trade balance in favor of Italy at USD 19.42 million, Amb. Clemente guaranteed strong support from the Embassy to address the gap.
In addition, the Senior Undersecretary encouraged the continued support of Italy with other export commodities such as tuna, pineapples, frozen fish meat, carrageenan, and desiccated coconut. The volume of Philippine exports could be increased by organizing a trade exhibition in Milan and participating in the Mercato Ortofrutticolo, the central market in Milan projected to be one of the largest fruit and vegetable marketplaces in Europe by 2025. Further, the importance of possible tropical fruit exports to Italy, such as mangoes, pili, and coconuts, was emphasized by DA.
In addition to increasing the volume of Philippine exports to Italy, the DA official emphasized the country’s importance as the home to International Organizations such as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). FAO is a specialized agency of the UN that leads international efforts to end hunger, establish food security for everyone, and ensure that people have reliable access to sufficient nutritious food to live active, healthy lives. It has been a critical partner of the Department in providing policy support and technical assistance in several areas that will help the Philippines attain food security.
The Philippine delegation in Rome has been actively participating in all FAO conferences and sessions to articulate Philippine positions on food security and other related concerns.
Italy and the Philippines will celebrate their 75th year of diplomatic relations in December 2022, demonstrating the strength of their bilateral ties. (DA-IAD)