Madrid, Spain
14 September 2014

President Benigno S. Aquino III met with officials of Madrid Fusión, one of the leading international gastronomy gatherings being held in Madrid, Spain every year. He likewise witnessed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Department of Tourism of the Philippines and the Instituto Español de Comercio Exterior (ICEX) España Exportación e Inversiones of Spain for the conduct of Madrid Fusión-Manila next year.

The MOU states that “it is the common intention of DOT and ICEX to continuously promote, coordinate and enhance culture, tourism and commerce between the Philippines and Spain, notwithstanding the competences of other departments of their respective governments.”

The Philippines is set to host the very first Madrid Fusión-Manila, also the first in Southeast Asia, in April 2015. This international gastronomic event will be one of the highlights of “Visit the Philippines Year 2015” campaign of the government. In this event, there will be a trade exhibition that aims to feature innovative cuisine and a gastronomy congress. This is likewise envisioned to showcase a gathering of Filipino and Spanish chefs as a celebration of the 300 years of shared history of the two nations.

Among the elite chefs and culinary experts who attended the event were Lourdes Plana, Managing Director of Foro de Debate, S.L.; Ana Capel Rivas, International Director of Foro de Debate, S.L.; Inigo Cañedo, Managing Director of Arum Estrategias Internacionalización; Maria Leonor Esteban, Gastronomy and Special Projects Head of Arum Estrategias Internacionalización; Jaime Garcia Legaz, President of ICEX and the one who signed the MOU for the Spanish side; and Ambassador of Spain to the Philippines Luis Calvo.

For the Philippines side, Tourism Sec. Ramon Jimenez signed the MOU while other members of the President’s Cabinet and Philippine Ambassador to Spain Carlos Salinas witnessed the signing together with the President.

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