Visit to ECFA by the Philippine Ambassador to Egypt
Ambassador Ezzedin H. Tago, the ambassador of the Philippines to Egypt, visited ECFA on November 11, 2021, at his request, whereby he commended the extended friendship between the two countries’ peoples, noting the presence of a Filipino community in Egypt, consisting of about five thousand people, who work without any problems. The Philippine ambassador also noted that the volume of trade exchanges between the two countries witnessed a clear decline compared to the beginning of the second decade of the third millennium. He added that, during his tenure in Cairo, he will give economic and trade cooperation relations between the two countries a top priority. He also hailed Egypt’s support for the peace process in the southern Philippines, and the positive role played by Ambassador Sayed Kassem El-Masry in this regard in his capacity as the Special Envoy of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. The Ambassador of the Philippines mentioned the two countries’ historical role in the field of South-South cooperation and within the framework of the Non-Aligned Movement, adding that the two countries have identical positions, with regard to support and promotion of dialogue between religions, civilizations and cultures.
On the other hand, the discussion tackled the strategic competition between the United States and China in Asia and the world. In this regard, he pointed out that they seek to maintain balanced relations between the two powers, and do not wish to find themselves in front of choosing to align themselves with a particular force. He added that he believes this was the position of the other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). In this context, the Ambassador hinted that some ASEAN member states, especially Indonesia and Malaysia, expressed their concern over the announcement by Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom – on September 15th – of an enhanced security partnership between them (what is known as Aukus), as they believe that this step is a provocation to China which has large economic and trade relations with all countries of the region.
On his part, ECFA Chairman welcomed the cooperation with the Philippines and other ASEAN member states, referring to the successful seminar organized by ECFA with ASEAN countries in June 2016 on economic and investment cooperation, adding that other seminars could be organized in this regard, especially since Egypt enjoys close relations with all ASEAN countries. The Philippine Ambassador explained that he will consult with his colleagues in the ASEAN Council of Ambassadors in Cairo in this regard.