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Could the Czech and Filipino tie-ups affect the beer sector?

Agricultural, food and technology partnerships between the Czech Republic and the Philippines are set to shape the future of the beer sector.

Speaking at a business forum this week, Czech Republic agriculture minister Marek Vyborny explained that the move to work more closely with the Philippines was a bid to support both country’s economies.

Vyborny led a business delegation to the Philippines to assess partnership opportunities across food, labor, water management, and forestry and told reporters: “We are accompanied by a business delegation of more than 40 Czech companies representing the Czech agriculture and food industries. We are going to take part in two business forums; the first is this one that we just opened in Manila, and the second one is tomorrow (Friday) in Davao.”

The discussions follow Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala’s trip to the Philippines last year and President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.’s visit to the Czech Republic last week.

Vyborny said: “The Czech Republic has a lot to offer our partners in the Philippines” and went in to highlight how the Czech Republic is a leader in processed meat, beer, and hops cultivation.

Vyborny explained that the decision to work together went beyond the obvious paths of food and drink though and noted that “it’s also about innovation and technology in the agriculture and food sectors”.

He added that in the Czech Republic, water management and forestry are overseen by the Ministry of Agriculture and this meant that any eco-plans were also in the hands of the ministry. Breweries that use large amounts of water, for instance, being one such sector that could potentially feel the impact of any decisions made as well as also benefit from any advances in scientific research gleaned by shared learnings.

He added: “Most of these areas, water management and forestry, closely relate to our chapter of cooperation with our Philippine partners, such as in science, research, and development.”

The Czech delegation also reportedly includes employment agencies such as Randstad HR. Solutions and has highlighted that it has recently increased the quota for Filipino citizens from 2,500 work permits in 2023 to 10,500 in 2024.

Speaking about this move, the Czech ambassador said that the aim was to “create another level of relationship between our two countries but also enhance the two economies and eventually help transfer know-how from the Czech Republic to the Philippines and create a new generation of Filipinos with a strong connections to the Czech Republic”.

Vyborny is set to meet with agriculture secretary Francisco P. Tiu Laurel, Jr. to sign an agreement signifying a commitment to collaborate in agriculture and food as “a letter of intent” to “cover things like aquaculture, the food industry, science, research, and water management”.

Total trade between the two countries reached US$1.14 billion last year, with Czech imports accounting for US$999.73 million, according to data released by the Czech Chamber of Commerce.

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