- Published on Friday, 17 February 2017 20:48
MANILA, Feb 17 (Bernama) -- The Philippines and Mexico have agreed to explore free trade and currency agreements to further strengthen bilateral ties and facilitate economic transactions between the two countries, the Philippine Department of Finance (DOF) said Friday, China's Xinhua news agency reported.
Philippine Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Mexican Ambassador to Manila Julio Camarena Villasenor discussed these possible agreements during a recent meeting, along with Mexico's concerns regarding double taxation and visa arrangements for its nationals visiting the Philippines, the department said.
Dominguez broached the possibility of a currency agreement with Mexico, while Camarena proposed talks on a free trade deal with the Philippines, which, he said, was welcomed favorably by Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez during their earlier meeting last year.
In the meeting, Dominguez assured Camarena that he would help push the Philippines-Mexico agreement on the avoidance of double taxation, which remains pending in the Senate for concurrence.
He also assured the Mexican ambassador that he would discuss with the relevant government agencies the possibility of reciprocating Mexico's liberal visa arrangement for Filipinos, which allows them to enter visa-free and stay in that country for as long as six months if they hold a Schengen, US or Japan visa.
Mexican residents visiting the Philippines, in turn, currently enjoy visa-free entry to the country but may only stay for a maximum of 29 days here.
Dominguez also informed Camarena of an upcoming DOF mission to Mexico led by Undersecretary Karl Kendrick Chua to study the Mexican government's implementation of its sugar tax, to which the Ambassador assured the finance chief of his full support and assistance.
Last year, the Philippines and Mexico discussed the establishment of a Joint Economic Committee to further expand bilateral trade and investments between the two countries.
As of 2015, Mexico ranked as the Philippines' 28th trading partner and 19th export market.
Commercial relations between the Philippines and Mexico date back to 400 years ago, with the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade in 1565 beginning the two-way exchange of goods between the two countries.