Philippines sees more tourists from Brunei
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
PHILIPPINES has registered a 16.6 per cent increase in tourist arrivals from Brunei last year, with total trade also surging, its ambassador here said last night.
Meynardo LB Montealegre said Philippines saw 9,677 tourist arrivals from Brunei last year, compared to 8,297 in 2013.
During a dinner reception to mark Philippines’s 117th independence day at The Rizqun International Hotel, he said trade between the two countries had increased US$9.51 million ($12.83m) in 2014.
In 2014, total trade between the Philippines and Brunei reached US$85.23 million ($115.06m), up from US$75.72 million ($102.22m) the previous year.
The ambassador is confident both countries can further improve trade relations in years to come. “We only have to tap more products and resources, and enhance our connectivity.
“A case in point is our possible cooperation in the halal industry. Brunei can source products and raw materials from the Philippines for its halal brand,” he added.
Montealegre said Mindanao, in particular, can become Brunei’s active partner in its economic diversification initiatives.
“Moreover, we can explore ways to further revitalise our agreements in the fields of tourism, energy, education and shipping and ports. We can (also) venture in labour matters and cultural heritage,” he said.
The envoy went on to thank Brunei for the hospitality accorded to the 23,000-strong Filipino community in the sultanate.
The ambassador, Health Minister Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Johan Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Adanan Begawan Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Seri Setia Awang Hj Mohd Yusof and his spouse Datin Paduka Hjh Salmah Hj Hanafiah, cut a cake to mark the Philippines’s independence day.
The Brunei Times