PH, Chile sign trade and disaster preparedness deals

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President Benigno Aquino and Chilean President Michelle Bachelet witnessing the signing of agreements between the Philippines and Chile.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The Philippines and Chile signed two agreements during Chilean President Michelle Bachelet's state visit at the Malacañang Palace on Monday (November 16).

The highlight of Bachelet's state visit is the signing of two agreements between the Philippines and Chile.

The first agreement is the letter of intent on a joint study for free trade agreement between the two countries, signed by Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo and Chile Foreign Affairs Minister Heraldo Muñoz.

The second is a Memorandum of Understanding on disaster risk reduction signed by Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Muñoz.

The memorandum is especially important to both Chile and the Philippines — who are no strangers to natural disasters. The Philippines is visited by an average of 20 typhoons yearly while Chile frequently endures earthquakes.

Besides disaster risk reduction, both leaders also talked about trade and investment, tourism, education, mining, agriculture, and geothermal energy.

During their joint statement, both leaders acknowledged that ties between Chile and the Philippines still have great potential for growth.

President Benigno Aquino III also said Filipinos can be sent to Chile to teach English. He also directed the trade department to continue talks with its counterpart in Chile to develop a framework for energy in 2016.

Bachelet, on the other hand, recognized the importance of collaborating to mitigate the effects of climate change and strengthening humanitarian response to further develop bilateral ties.

Malacañang is scheduled to host another state visit on Tuesday afternoon (November 17) — this time by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.