Philippines and Qatar Sign 9 Bilateral Agreements During Amir's State Visit

The Philippines and Qatar signed 9 bilateral agreements to strengthen ties in tourism, human trafficking, climate, sports, and seafarer certification, further enhancing their 43-year diplomatic relationship.

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Muhammad Jawad
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Philippines and Qatar Sign 9 Bilateral Agreements During Amir's State Visit

Philippines and Qatar Sign 9 Bilateral Agreements During Amir's State Visit

On April 22, 2024, the Philippines and Qatar signed nine bilateral agreements during the state visit of Qatari Amir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani to Manila. The agreements aim to strengthen cooperation between the two countries in various areas, including tourism, combating human trafficking, climate change, sports, youth affairs, and mutual recognition of seafarers' certificates.

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Amir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani witnessed the signing of the agreements, which were exchanged between the respective cabinet secretaries of the two countries. The signed deals signify a notable advancement in bolstering the bilateral ties between the Philippines and Qatar, which established diplomatic relations in 1981.

Why this matters: The agreements signed during the Amir's state visit are anticipated to further enhance the 43-year-old diplomatic ties between the Philippines and Qatar, which is home to around 242,000 Filipinos. The deals cover a wide range of sectors and are aimed at boosting trade, investment, and people-to-people exchanges between the two countries.

One of the key agreements is the waiver of visa requirements for holders of diplomatic and official passports, allowing for stays of up to 30 days. The two countries also agreed to promote cooperation and communication between their sports federations and to exchange expertise, legislation, and research in combating human trafficking.

In the field of tourism, the Philippines and Qatar signed a memorandum of understanding to encourage tourism investment, exchange expertise and best practices, and organize familiarization visits for media and tourism experts. A joint working team will be formed to oversee the implementation of the agreement.

The mutual recognition of seafarers' certificates, in accordance with the STCW Convention of 1978, was another significant agreement signed during the visit. This deal is expected to benefit the large number of Filipino seafarers working on Qatari vessels.

Qatar is one of the top five destinations for overseas Filipino workers, with over 242,000 Filipinos residing in the country. In 2022, remittances from Qatar to the Philippines totaled $895 million, highlighting the importance of the bilateral relationship for both nations.

President Marcos expressed his hope that the discussions during the Amir's visit will open up more opportunities to enhance and fortify the countries' relations at all levels, including commercial, government-to-government, and people-to-people ties. The Amir praised the

Key Takeaways

  • Philippines and Qatar signed 9 bilateral agreements to strengthen cooperation.
  • Agreements cover tourism, human trafficking, climate change, sports, and seafarers' certificates.
  • Visa waiver for diplomatic/official passport holders and tourism investment promotion.
  • Mutual recognition of seafarers' certificates to benefit Filipino workers in Qatar.
  • Qatar is a top destination for Filipino workers, with $895M in remittances in 2022.