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Iran, Philippines to improve banking relations

Staff Writer |
The Philippines and Iran have agreed to expand bilateral ties, beginning with establishing banking relations and renewing economic cooperation between the two countries.

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In a meeting with Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Asia-Pacific Affairs Ebrahim Rahimpour offered Tehran’s assistance in helping Philippines’ energy needs and expressed the hope that banking relations with Manila could be established soon, the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) reported.

Rahimpour also raised the possibility of President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit to Iran and extended the invitation as well to Dominguez. “We are focused on expanding bilateral relations with the Philippines. At the same time, we are ready to increase the level of engagement in the Philippines, including in the area of banking,” Rahimpour said.

He also said that Iran can help “secure the [Philippines’] energy needs for the future.” Iran’s Ambassador Mohammad Tanhaei, who was also at the meeting, said Rahimpour’s visit “reflects the special attention of our government to the Philippines.”

Dominguez said as member of his country’s Monetary Board, he was ready to assist Iranian officials in establishing a branch of one of its banks, and said he would explore the possibility of setting up a branch of the Land Bank of the Philippines in Iran to address the banking and remittance needs of Filipino workers in that country.

“We know that you’re open for business now, you have been open for business before, but now, it’s going to be much easier to transact with your [government], and we look at Iran as a good potential partner for the Philippines in the Middle East. It’s a great country, and we admire your history and your people,” Dominguez told Rahimpour.

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