Croatian and Philippines Defence Ministers' talks on cooperation in defence industry
RTOP-12 Kralj Dmitar Zvonimir missile boat
Defence Minister Ante Kotromanović and Deputy Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Joško Klisović with delegations paid an official visit to the Philippines from 30 September to 3 October 2012. There they held bilateral meetings of defence ministers and political consultation of foreign ministries of the two countries.
During a visit to the Ministry of National Defence of the Republic of the Philippines, Minister Kotromanović met Minister Gazmin Voltaire. During the meeting, both sides pointed out the very good bilateral relations between Croatia and the Philippines as well as opportunities for future development.
In line with the common interest of the two countries for the preservation of global and regional stability through participation in international peacekeeping missions, it was agreed that there was a scope for strengthening bilateral cooperation, particularly in the field of military-technical cooperation, as well as in cooperation between the two navies. In this context, Minister Kotromanović emphasized the long tradition of Croatia as a naval and shipbuilding country, mentioning the recent decision of the Government on the construction of coastal patrol ships for the Croatian Navy.
The discussions were also about the fight against piracy and the contribution of the two countries, where the Croatian participation in ATALANTA operation led by the EU was characterized as an important contribution to the fight against this global problem. Philippines Defence Minister spoke about the anti-piracy activities on its sea borders, where both ministers drew a conclusion that in this area there was the potential for the exchange of experience between the two navies.
RTOP-21 Šibenik missile boat
Given the identified potential development of bilateral cooperation between Croatia and Philippines in the field of military-technical, defence and security cooperation, and cooperation between navies, education and training and exchange of experience, the interest in finding new possibilities of product placement of the Croatian military industry on the Philippines market was emphasized on the meeting. Particularly, if considering the fact that the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the air force and the navy, have been currently in the process of modernization and further equipping. It was also pointed out that, as part of the strategy of the Philippines to increase economic growth and decrease poverty, they increased budgetary resources of the Philippine Ministry of Defence.
The Philippines also intend to open additional opportunities in the shipbuilding portfolio within which an important role has the construction of ships for the Philippine Navy.Two ministers also talked about the Croatian membership in NATO, where Minister Kotromanović spoke about the concept of Smart Defence as a new way of thinking of the Alliance's member states to preserve the existing and develop new capabilities in the defence field in times of reduced defence budgets. As a positive example, he pointed out the Croatian-Czech training of helicopter pilots and technicians as part of the Multinational Helicopter Initiative, which aims to standardize training and save resources of each country participating in the training.
Defence Minister Gazmin has expressed a desire for sharing experience, stressing that members of the Philippine Armed Forces could learn from CAF service members who took part in the Homeland War, as well as later in peacekeeping operations and missions around the world, and thus gained very important experience and knowledge in the fight against modern threats.
The two Ministers stressed the importance of signing a Memorandum of Understanding in the field of logistics and defence industry, which will provide a firmer framework for further bilateral cooperation. In this context, Minister Kotromanović invited his Philippine colleague in the return visit to the Republic of Croatia when the aforementioned document could be signed, which would have opened up possibilities for increased cooperation.
OB-04 Hrvatska Kostajnica patrol boat
During the official visit to the Republic of the Philippines, Minister Kotromanović also visited the Philippine Coast Guard Command and the Philippine Navy Command, where he met with the Commander, Rear Admiral Jesus C. Millan. The discussion on the meeting was on the organization of two navies and on the development opportunities in the future, both in terms of organization and in their equipping.Along with the representatives of the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, Croatian business delegation composed of: Ruđer Friganović, Managing Director of the Croatian shipbuilding - Jadranbrod, Ivica Nekić, Director of the Alan Agency and Vladimir Koroman, Director of the Shipbuilding Institute have also took part in the official visit to the Republic of the Philippines.