Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte Reuters

The Philippines' Department of Finance and the embassy of Mexico in the country held a strategic meeting to discuss new ways between the two countries to promote trade and investment, given Mexico's investment portfolio in the Philippines is getting bigger.

Finance Minister Carlos Domingues and Mexican Ambassador to Manila, Julio Villasenor, met and the latter raised concerns about the pending discussion and concurrence in the senate about the double taxation, and information exchange on tax matters between the two countries to prevent tax evasion practices.

Philippine Laws require that any agreement entered between the Philippine government and any foreign government will have to be concurred by the senate.The two country officials discussed how their currencies be effectively utilised without converting it into a dollar first then converting them to their respective country currencies.

Dominguez also committed to make this request in the senate and that he will also involve Trade Minister Ramon Lopez and other officials of the Central Bank of the Philippines, who also have deep expertise in this kind of tax concerns.

The two biggest Mexican companies operating in the Philippines are Cemex, a cement and building materials manufacturer, and Mabe, a household appliance company.

The Philippines and Mexico trade relations traces back to 400 years when the Manila-Acapulco Galleon trade started in 1565.

Mexico has been interested to expand their investments in the Philippines than in any other East Asian countries as a result of the Southeast Asian nation's GDP growth rate.

Mexico invested a total of USD 2.8 billion to the Philippines, while the Philippines also has invested USD 600 million in Mexico. Philippine companies that captured the Mexico market are International Container Terminal Services and Ayala's Corporation's Integrated Micro Electronics.

The Philippines and Mexico are also pushing for the creation of a Joint Economic Committee to enhance the ongoing trade relations and investment between these two nations that have many cultural similarities.