Around 200 companies in the Philippines and 90 Russian companies officially signed a total of USD 875 million deal that will facilitate fresh trade and investments of these two countries.
With these newly-forged deals, new Filipino investors can now penetrate the Russian market while interested Russian business executives can explore investing in the Philippines.
Philippines Trade and Industry Minister Ramon Lopez said, "So far, we have around $875 million business-to-business projects between Philippines and Russian companies."
The signing of the business deal was held at Four Seasons Hotel during the opening of the Philippines-Russia Business Forum in Moscow.
The newly forged business deals will heavily invest in industries that focus on iron, steel, agribusiness, multi-purpose vehicles, power, energy, property development, and transport construction.
Lopez said the forum seeks to pave the way for more Russian companies to invest in the Philippines and for Filipino businessmen to be able to bag lucrative deals from Russia, known for their steel, oil and gas, infrastructure and arms industries.
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said that he wanted to realign with Russia, both militarily and economically. He also said that he was interested in acquiring military weapons from Russia, which the Southeast Asian country badly needs to address rising militants in the southern region.
On the other hand, Russia's Deputy Minister for Economic Development, Alexander Tsybulskiy, told the delegates in attendance that the Russian Federation is doing everything to expand bilateral relations with the Philippines.
"We hope this meeting will be a good beginning for long-term cooperation," Tsybulskiy was quoted by the Philippine Star.
With this development, more agriculture-based products from the Philippines are expected to be exported to Russia such as coconut oil, carrageenan, frozen marine and seafood products, processed food and beverage, furniture, automotive batteries and bananas.
On the other hand, Filipino investors are also interested to import urea fertiliser, coal, pharmaceutical ingredients, chemicals, wheat flour and sewn timber for furniture and builder woodworks.
Recent Philippines statistics show that bilateral trade between the Philippines and Russia hit USD 226 million last year. Trade is expected to increase in the next few years because of the government's direction to intensify trade ties with Russia.