Obiang Welcomed at Palace; GMA, E. Guinea President Witness Signing of Pacts

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Byline: DAVID CAGAHASTIAN

Visitor awarded Congressional Medal of Achievement

President Arroyo and visiting Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo yesterday witnessed the signing of several bilateral agreements, including an agreement on the promotion of investments between the two countries.

President Obiang arrived in Manila yesterday noon for his four-day state visit to the Philippines. He was received at Malacanang Palace by Mrs. Arroyo in a welcome ceremony with full military arrival honors and a 21-gun salute.

The Philippines and Equatorial Guinea signed two agreements, namely the "General Agreement on Economic, Cultural, Scientific, and Technical Cooperation" and the "Agreement on the Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investments."

A memorandum of understanding for the conduct of a feasibility study on establishing a life and non-life insurance industry in Equatorial Guinea was signed between Equatorial Guinea's Ministry of Finance and Budgets and the Metropolitan Insurance Company.

Obiang also took part in the ceremonial turnover of the Banco Nacional de Guinea Ecuatorial, Equatorial Guinea's national bank, which has for its partner and technical adviser the Bank of Commerce in the Philippines.

After the signing of the agreements, Obiang and his delegation proceeded to the historic landmark Manila Hotel where they are billeted for the duration of the state visit.

Among the members of Obiang's delegation are his wife, Senora Dona Constancia Mangue de Obiang; Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Francophony Pastor Micha Ondo Bile, and Minister of Finance and Budgets Marcelino Owono Edu.

House Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr., who accompanied Mrs. Arroyo for the welcome ceremonies, presented Obiang a Congressional Medal of Achievement for his outstanding leadership of Equatorial Guinea since 1979.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo said the Department of Energy (DoE) and the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) will try to establish a framework on energy cooperation between the two countries under the "General Agreement on Economic, Cultural, Scientific and Technical Cooperation. …