The Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol said that he had a meeting with Iranian Ambassador to the Philippines Mohammad Tanhaei on Friday to discuss possible trade relations in terms of agriculture between the Philippines and Iran. On Monday, Piñol said that the Philippines might import apples from Iran while the country could also export abaca, banana, and pineapple to Iran.

Here are three fast facts on agricultural trade relations of Philippines with Iran:

 

1. Imports of Iranian apples can be done once all required protocols are approved. The DA must finalize the Pest Risk Analysis (PRA) in apple fruit samples for pests.

“I’m still waiting for the results, and if everything turns out okay, rest assured that (the document on) importation of apples is ready for signing,” The Philippine Information Agency reported Piñol, as saying.

Piñol added that the Iranian government is “keen on bringing its produce to Philippine markets.”

Aside from Apples, Iran also produces cherries, pomegranates,and pistachios. Piñol said that Iran also wanted to bring these products to the Philippines.

2. Piñol said that the Philippines also want to export abaca, banana and pineapple to Iran. He added that he requested Tanhaei to reduce the tariff of bananas. The current tariff on imported bananas is pegged at 24 percent, which is lower than apple exports.

Joyce Wendam, officer-in-charge of DA-NIR, said that the Negros Island Region is now on the process of locating more regions where these products can be potentially grown. “Considering that Iran is a huge market, the DA Secretary would like to ensure that we have the capacity to supply its needs,” SunStar Bacolod reported Wendam, as saying.

3. Piñol said he will visit Iran in May. This is to explore cooperation in agricultural ventures and to lead Philippine delegations in agri-fishery trade shows.

Piñol added that Iran also wants to produce synthetic rubber supply in exchange for its natural rubber in line with the plans of the Philippines to establish its own local tire factory.

The Iranian government was also Iran willing to work with the Philippine government in research and development activities related to rice, bio-technology and modern farming.

Iran and Philippines have diplomatic relations beginning 1974. Both countries' economic trade have centered on hydrocarbon as the Philippines import oil from Iran. Based on data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Iran is not among the list of the Top 20 destinations neither of Philippine exports nor of Top 20 sources of imports.

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