Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hassan Qashqavi who is here to participate in 5th Joint Consular Commission of the two countries met and conferred with Philippines Foreign Minister Albert Ferreros del Rosario on Thursday, IRNA reported.
In the meeting in the presence of the two countries' ambassadors Qashqavi presented the warm greetings of the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to his Philippines counterpart and invited him on his behalf to visit Iran at his earliest convenient opportunity.
The Philippines foreign minister, too, for his part welcomed the opening of a new diplomatic atmosphere in Iran's relations with various countries around the globe and wished success for the ongoing consular meeting of the two countries.
Foreign Minister Ferreros del Rosario also said that the year 2014 marks to 50th anniversary of Iran-Philippines diplomatic relations, arguing that the occasion provides a very good opportunity for evermore introduction of the two countries' capabilities and potentials to each other.
He also asked Qashqavi to appreciate his Iranian counterpart for having invited him to visit Iran.
Hydrocarbons remain the main avenue of economic interaction for Iran and the Philippines. In 2006, the Philippines purchased between 70,000 and 110,000 barrels of oil a day from Iran, making the country one of the Philippines' most significant trade partners in the region. In 2008, Iran agreed to invest $125 million petrochemical market in the Philippines.
Iran and the Philippines have also agreed to ensure better labor conditions for Filipino maritime workers. The sides penned a memorandum of agreement following a June 2010 meeting of the 2010 Diplomatic Conference of Parties to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watch-Keeping.
According to the agreement, Iran will henceforth recognize Philippine maritime certificates of competencies. Then-Filipino Labor Secretary Marianito Roque expressed his "appreciation to the Iranian government for its willingness to enter into an agreement with the Philippines" and claimed that "the recognition is essential to the continued employment of Filipino seafarers in the international maritime industry."
Bilateral relations between the Philippines and Iran started on August 16, 1974.
Both countries are eyeing to increase cooperation in areas of tourism, food production and industries, energy, construction, technology, science and culture under the current conditions.
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