Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
October 19, 2023

Chargé d’Affaires Rommel Romato of the Philippine Embassy in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia shares insights on the participation of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to the inaugural Association of Southeast Asian Nations – Gulf Cooperation Council (ASEAN-GCC) Summit in Riyadh.

In an interview, Chargé d’Affaires Romato notes that the Summit is an opportunity for the Philippines to further strengthen ties with the Gulf nations. He says that it will offer the President an avenue to advance the country’s interests in the Gulf region and discuss important matters with his counterparts, including migrant workers’ welfare, food security, energy security and economic cooperation, among others.

“I think it is very important for the President to engage the Saudi leadership and also other GCC leaders. GCC is home to more than two million Filipino workers and it is essential for our government to engage the governments of these countries,” he conveys.

Moreover, the visit of President Marcos Jr. will open opportunities for potential investments and partnerships with the Saudi Arabian business community.

“We also want to show that we can move beyond labor. We can also talk about other fields of economic cooperation like for example in the sectors of healthcare, education, tourism, even in the Halal industry, and also Islamic banking and financing. And these offer opportunities for other parts of the Philippines, including Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao,” he states.

“The visit of the President will give an opportunity for him to be exposed as to the approaches and methodologies of Saudi [Arabia] and the GCC countries in diversifying their economy. I think there will be many opportunities also for collaborations between our two countries,” Chargé d’Affaires Romato adds.

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