DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Australian Ambassador Amanda Gorely expressed her hope that the Philippines will achieve peace in Mindanao for the country’s economic development.
“We hope for the Philippines can achieve peace here,” Gorely said during the opening program of the training for women leaders on gender, peace and governance held in a hotel here Monday.
“Of course it is very important in the Philippines, Mindanao, for the economic development of the country. It is also important for the Australia for they are in the same region. We want to have a peaceful stable region,” Gorely added.
Gorely’s first visit in the country since President Rodrigo Duterte’s term on Monday was in support for the Bangsamoro women who will be undergoing training in preparation for the establishment of the Bangsamoro government.
The Australian Embassy’s support for the training aims to equip Moro women with skills to have a political voice and to help their communities.
Gorely said that since 1996, they have been supporting peace talks in the country and will continue to work with the government and the people of the Philippines.
Gorely added that her visit also aims to bring in more businesses to invest here.
“We came to look on how we can collaborate together on how we could improve economic development here in Mindanao,” Gorely said. She said she and her team will be having meeting with the Davao Chamber of Commerce and Industries and the Mindanao Development Authority for possible partnerships.
Gorely said that Australian companies have been operating here in Mindanao, including those whose businesses are from the infrastructure, power, energy, water, food, and beverages. According to the website of the Australian Embassy there are more than 200 Australian firms operating in the Philippines, including some of Australia’s largest corporations.
“We are really here for economic trade and look at areas where we have synergies [in] trading relationship,” she added.
She said the two-and-a-half-hour flight distance between the Philippines and Australia is seen as an “opportunity” to strengthen bilateral trade between the two countries.
Australia and the Philippines marked its 70 years of bilateral relations last year.(daovaotoday.com)