Poland and Phl partner on food security, military contacts

‘Poland and the Philippines have enjoyed friendly relations based on respect, understanding and mutually beneficial cooperation for almost half a century.’ — Poland Chargé d’ Affaires Jaroslaw Szczepankiewic

Poland Chargé d’ Affaires Jaroslaw Szczepankiewic. | photographS by Alfonso Padilla for the Daily Tribune

Russia’s war against Ukraine resulted in food shortages that affected many countries around the world.

As a food production hub, Poland, which recently celebrated its National Day, feels duly responsible to come forward and ensure food security to its partners including the Philippines, Poland Chargé d’ Affaires Jaroslaw Szczepankiewic told Daily Tribune.

DEPARTMENT of National Defense OIC and Senior Undersecretary Jose Faustino Jr., Ambassador of the Holy See/Vatican Archbishop Charles J. Brown, and Poland Chargé d’ Affaires Jaroslaw Szczepankiewic.

In 2020, Poland was the seventh largest food producer in Europe and the 14th largest in the world. Around 40 percent of its production is intended for export. Its specialties include meat, confectionery, dairy products, and vegetables. Poland is also a leader in the production of fresh and frozen fruits, concentrated juices, and chocolate products.

Some of these products, particularly chocolates, cereals, and milk, are now available in the Philippines online or in-stores.

“Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, Polish export of food products to the Filipino market increased in 2020 by 5.4 percent, amounting to 43.9 mln euro,” Szczepankiewic said.

The Polish envoy noted that Poland and Philippines’ bilateral trade turnover in 2020 and 2021 did not decrease but respectively rose by 16.8 percent and 21.4 percent.

UNITED States Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Carlson (right) and Ambassador of the Holy See/Vatican Archbishop Charles J. Brown (middle).

“This, although undoubtedly positive, does not fully exploit the potential of our trade cooperation, especially considering the size of our economies and market potential. We should aim for our bilateral trade turnover in 2023, the year of our 50th anniversary, to exceed $1 billion,” he said.

Poland is looking forward to the conclusion of the Memorandum of Understanding on Agricultural Cooperation that will provide a legal framework for cooperation with the Philippines.

Szczepankiewic also hopes that the implementation of a new contract on the delivery of additional 32 choppers for the Philippines, signed in February 2022, will be equally successful.

“We are very proud that the implementation of the 2019 contract for the delivery of Black Hawk S-70i helicopters produced in Poland by PZL Mielec is considered as a model. All 16 helicopters were successfully delivered to Clark on time or ahead of time,” he said.

IRELAND Ambassador to the Philippines William Carlos, United Kingdom Ambassador to the Philipines Laure Beaufils, and Ambassador of the Holy See/Vatican Archbishop Charles J. Brown.

Szczepankiewic is convinced that Black Hawk is fully fitted to satisfy the operational needs and capability requirements of the Philippine Air Force. He emphasizes that the S-70i producer, PZL Mielec, enjoys the full support of the Polish government.

The Polish Embassy in Manila reopened in 2018 and became fully operational in 2020. In 2019, the Foreign Trade Office was opened as well to serve the constantly growing demand for assistance in establishing B2B contacts and providing information on economic and investment opportunities both in Poland and in the Philippines.

In 2023, both countries will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic relations.

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