|Overview of the Philippines - Belgium Bilateral Relations|
The Republic of the Philippines and the Kingdom of Belgium established formal diplomatic relations on 4 July 1946.
Since then, bilateral relations between the two countries have been characterized by close cooperation towards the common aspirations of peace, freedom, democracy and the promotion of the well-being and prosperity of the people of the Philippines and the Kingdom of Belgium.
President Benigno S. Aquino III, in his visit to Belgium from 15-16 September 2014 highlighted the importance of Belgium's contributions to the strengthening of Philippine - Belgium Relations during his audience with His Majesty, King Philippe and with Belgian Federal Government Officials in the areas of trade and investment, humanitarian assistance, greater people-to-people contact and networking and in international relations where the Philippines and Belgium share and uphold common values towards the promotion of democracy and the rule of law.
He conveyed the Philippines' deepest appreciation to the assistance provided by the Government of the Kingdom of Belgium in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda on 8 November 2013. The Belgian Government sent a contingent of 40 doctors and nurses from the Belgium First Aid and Support Team (B-Fast), medical relief goods, a field hospital and mobile water treatment which arrived on 12 November 2013. Total official Belgian assistance has reached €2.53 million while donations from private entities/NGOs have reached €10.5 million.
On 10 July 2013, Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert F. Del Rosario and his Belgian counterpart, Foreign Minister Didier Reynders signed the Philippine - Belgium Joint Plan of Action (JPA). The JPA is an opportunity and a platform for the two countries to work and cooperate closely in addressing practical challenges and various concerns and boost overall aspects of bilateral relations.
In the area of trade, Belgium remains a significant trading partner of the Philippines with exports amounting to US$ 302 Million and imports amounting to US$ 288 million in 2012. Belgium ranked as the 20th market for Philippine exports in 2012.
In terms of foreign direct investments Belgium's investment reached P260.27 million in 2011, while investments in 2012 totalled P26.90 million. Belgian investments as of 2012 are in the fields of manufacturing and public administration. Previous years included additional investments in the areas of accommodation and food service, financial and insurance activities and administration and support service activities.
People-to people contact has seen an increase in the past years, with some 6,583 Filipinos calling Belgium their home and place of work, while an increasing number of Belgians of various professions and business interests now reside in the Philippines.