Philippines President due in Turkey to boost economic ties
Philippines President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will visit Turkey today at the invitation of Turkish President Abdullah Gul to discuss ways to boost bilateral relations and economic ties. In addition, the visit will also mark the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. En route to Britain to attend an economic forum and then to Saudi Arabia, Macapagal-Arroyo will stay in Turkey today and tomorrow. During her visit, she will use the opportunity to thank Gul for supporting the Philippines' bid for observer status in the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). She will also meet with the OIC's secretary-general, Turkish scholar Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, to discuss the progress of that bid. Turkey is an emerging market for Philippine exports, and the bilateral trade volume totals more than $114 million, with Philippine exports to Turkey at $63 million, and Philippine imports from Turkey at $51 million. In March Philippines Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo visited Turkey and met with then-Foreign Minister Ali Babacan, now deputy prime minister.