DoTr urges expanded regional partnerships after EU air travel deal

THE Transportation department said on Monday that it will work with partners within Southeast Asia to help develop the region’s transport connectivity, after the signing of an air transport agreement with the European Union (EU).

“In his first ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Transport Ministers Meeting over the weekend, Secretary Jaime J. Bautista stressed the Philippines will push for agreements and areas of partnership that will further develop the region’s transportation potential,” the department said in a statement.

In his speech, Mr. Bautista noted that the Philippines “is supportive and is one with the other partner nations in pushing for agreements and areas of partnership.”

Mr. Bautista was among the signatories on Monday to the world’s first inter-region aviation cooperation deal, the ASEAN-European Union Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement, one of the highlights of the 28th ASEAN Transport Ministers Meeting.

The agreement is aimed at reinforcing connectivity and post-pandemic economic recovery between ASEAN and the EU.

“This agreement will prove to be a game-changer as both ASEAN and EU countries slowly recover and rebuild from the effects of the pandemic,” Mr. Bautista said.

“The agreement will have a profound impact in the areas of trade and tourism for ASEAN and the EU,” he noted. It will help “rebuild air connectivity between ASEAN and Europe which was suddenly suspended by the pandemic.” — Arjay L. Balinbin