In a significant move to bolster their trade relations, the Philippines and Vietnam have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Rice Trade Cooperation. This agreement, among several others, was forged on Tuesday, Jan. 30, during bilateral discussions between the two nations.
The MOU on Rice Trade Cooperation establishes a framework for rice cooperation between the Philippines and Vietnam. It aims to ensure a sustainable food supply chain, particularly in the face of challenges posed by climate change, pandemics, and other external events affecting both countries.
Vietnam has committed to a five-year trade agreement to supply an annual quantity of 1.5 million to 2 million metric tons (MT) of white rice to the Philippine private sector, offering competitive and affordable pricing.
Beyond rice trade, the two countries will engage in information exchange regarding policies, plans, regulations, and other rice-related activities.
Another noteworthy agreement, the MOU on Cooperation in Agriculture and Related Fields, was also signed during the bilateral meeting. This MOU seeks to strengthen collaboration in various agricultural and rural development areas. It outlines 19 areas of cooperation, encompassing high-value crops, livestock, aquaculture, farm management, sustainability, smart agriculture, technology, research, training, and expert exchanges.
Additionally, several other agreements were inked during the meeting, including the Understanding on Incident Prevention and Management in the South China Sea, a Memorandum of Understanding on Maritime Cooperation between the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Vietnam Coast Guard (VCG), and a Cultural Cooperation Program between the National Commission for Culture and the Arts of the Republic of the Philippines and the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam for the Period of 2024-2029.
The signing of the rice agreement is a pivotal moment in the Philippines' trade relations with Vietnam, guaranteeing a continuous rice supply, even during calamities and challenging circumstances.