Manama: Bahrain and the Philippines have given a new boost to their cooperation by signing four agreements covering wide aspects of their relations.
The accords were signed on Thursday evening at the Sakhir Palace where King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa received Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte who was making his first state visit to the kingdom.
The first agreement paves the way for the establishment of a High Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation between the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Republic of the Philippines.
The joint commission will upgrade the current political consultations between Bahrain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs to a wide-ranging platform for cooperation that covers among other issues labour, culture and agriculture.
Foreign Affairs Minister Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa signed on behalf of Bahrain while Acting Foreign Secretary Enrique Manalo represented the Philippines.
The second agreement covered cooperation, the exchange of information and training of diplomats between Bahrain’s Diplomatic Institute of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Foreign Service Institute of the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs.
The third accord was a Protocol on amending articles of the agreement between Bahrain and the Philippines on the Avoidance of Double Taxation; while the fourth accord was a draft protocol on the agreement on regulating air transport services between Bahrain and the Philippines.
Both King Hamad and President Duterte hailed the agreements signed by the two countries.
President Duterte's visit is a significant step towards strengthening bilateral relations and broadening cooperation in various areas, mainly trade, the economy and investments, King Hamad said.
The Bahraini monarch expressed appreciation of the contributions of the Philippine community to development in Bahrain, Bahrain News Agency (BNA) reported.
Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said that Bahrain was home to 60,000 Filipino workers, one of the largest communities in the island kingdom.
Bahrain was the second stop of the three-leg Gulf tour by Duterte that comprises Saudi Arabia and Qatar.