President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. expects to develop stronger ties with Mauritania and Mongolia as he welcomed in Malacañang Monday the official ambassadors of the two countries to the Philippines.
Newly designated Mauritania Ambassador B.A. Samba Mamadou said he sees improvement in professional training and agriculture as the envoy begins his tenure in the Philippines, recognizing the country’s good history in rice cultivation, one of Mauritania’s main commodities.
“Mauritania is a very small country, population-wise, but we have natural resources, fishery. We have cooperation with countries like Japan, the European Union, China, and Turkey,” the Mauritanian envoy told President Marcos in a courtesy call.
Mauritania also has minerals like coal, copper, as well as plutonium, and recently, it discovered huge gas deposits both offshore and inland, Ambassador Mamadou said.
According to the envoy, Mauritania is trying to diversify its partnership not only with its traditional partners but also with other partners for the benefit of its country and people.
“So I am looking forward to meeting some Filipino businessmen and see how I can really talk about the opportunities and tap opportunities that are in Mauritania,” Mamadou said.
Responding to the Mauritania ambassador, President Marcos said a list of Filipino businessmen who could invest in Mauritania is being prepared.
“I think in terms of the economy in the Philippines, the biggest change in policy of this government from the last and previous ones, you see we are opening up the economy to partnerships — all kinds of partnerships, government-to-government, private partnerships, PPPs, whatever is most advantageous to both parties,” the President said.
With the current energy crisis, the chief executive said the Philippines is looking at other energy sources aside from its traditional partners.
As it moves and weans itself from traditional fossil fuels to produce power, Marcos said, the country will shift to using gas in the interim.
President Marcos also received Mongolian Ambassador to the Philippines Enkhbayar Sosorbaram, as he enumerated the Philippines’ priorities for quick development as it comes out of the pandemic economy.
Among the priority areas are agriculture, energy, education and all other basic services that the country provides.
“So these are the areas that I think that [with] other countries we can cooperate in. And the two-way exchanges is always to the advantage of both sides. I’m looking forward to not only the visit — to visit your country, to visit Mongolia, but I’m looking forward to seeing our relationship grow and have much closer ties with Mongolia in the future,” Marcos told the Mongolian envoy.
Responding to the President, Ambassador Sosorbaram recognized the Philippines as a very important nation in Southeast Asia, which has collaborated with Mongolia on the world stage, especially in the United Nations (UN).
People-to-people exchange is an important part of the two nations’ bilateral relations, Ambassador Sosorbaram said, noting that currently, few Mongolians live in the Philippines although there are many students now coming to Philippine universities.
The envoy extended to the Philippine leader the invitation of Mongolian President Ukhnaagiin Khürelsükh to visit Mongolia, preferably from June to August when the weather is more favorable.
The Philippines and Mongolia established their diplomatic relations in 1973.
Next year, the two countries will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties.