(MENAFN - Jordan Times) AMMAN — Philippine Ambassador to Jordan Akmad Sakkam, joined by leaders of the Filipino community in the Kingdom, has recently led a ceremony in Amman to mark the 121st anniversary of the Philippines' proclamation of independence.During a speech, Ambassador Sakkam expressed his admiration and gratitude to Jordan for providing employment to more than 40,000 Filipinos. He also underscored the 'warm' relations between the two countries, according to a statement from the Philippine embassy in Amman.Ambassador Sakkam added that under the current Philippine leadership, bilateral relations would see an expansion.
The embassy noted that the Philippines recently recorded one of the highest increases in Jordanian tourists travelling to the country in 2017 and 2018.
Tourist arrivals from Jordan registered a 51.54 per cent increase, starkly contrasting figures from other major MENA countries, the statement said.
The embassy added that in terms of trade, a multiyear balance in favour of the Philippines should compel exporters to diversify beyond agricultural products, consumer goods and light machineries.
In his concluding remarks, Ambassador Sakkam said that the Philippine independence day celebration was also an opportunity to express recognition and gratitude to the Kingdom for its shared commitments to human rights, racial and religious harmony and equal protection and acceptance under the rule of law in the region and around the world.
Diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Jordan began on March 1, 1976, with the signing of an agreement between the Philippines' former foreign affairs secretary Carlos Romulo and former Jordanian prime minister Zaid Rifai, during a two-day visit to Manila by His Majesty the late King Hussein and Her Majesty Queen Alia.
More recently, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte completed the first-ever state visit of a Philippine head of state to the Kingdom on September 8, 2018, the statement highlighted.
During the visit, six cooperation agreements were signed by the two countries. His Majesty King Abdullah is also scheduled to visit the Philippines later this year in October, according to the statement.