Secretary Peter Varghese will host a reception this evening at DFAT to mark seven decades of diplomatic relations between Australia and the Philippines.
Invited guests, including business, government, education and community leaders will meet to celebrate our long history of engagement and also to look for new opportunities to continue to build on this dynamic relationship.
“The 70th Anniversary year is an opportunity to reflect on our strong and enduring relationship built on shared values including a commitment to democracy, regional security and prosperity, and the rule of law,” Mr Varghese said.
“It is also an opportunity to showcase the diversity of Australian expertise and innovation, highlight trade and investment opportunities, and to deepen our people-to-people links.”
As a growing trading partner with strong people-to-people and education links, and a rapid growth in the number of Australian companies outsourcing business operations to the Philippines, there exists untapped potential to work with our Philippine counterparts to increase two way trade and investment flows over the coming years which exceeded $3.9 billion in 2014-15.
The opening of Australia’s Consulate-General in Manila on 22 May 1946 marked the official beginning of the relationship, however, our people-to-people links extend back to Australia’s pearling industry in the late 1800s. Today the number of Filipinos living in Australia is fast approaching 300,000 with the Philippines the fourth largest source of migrants in Australia.
At tonight’s reception, Australia will recognise the contribution of former Philippine Secretary (Minister) of Foreign Affairs and Ambassador to Australia (1995-2002) Ms Delia Domingo-Albert with a 70th Anniversary Friendship Award. Ambassador Albert was integral in securing Philippine Government recognition for Australian soldiers who supported the campaign for Philippine liberation during World War II. She has also been an advocate for responsible mining investment, a strong supporter of ASEAN and a champion of women’s empowerment.