By Priam Nepomuceno
MANILA – The Department of National Defense (DND) is open to collaborating with Sweden on defense technology transfer and research and development, in line with the country’s efforts in creating a self-reliant defense posture.
DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong, in a statement Thursday, said this was highlighted during the courtesy call of Swedish State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Jan Knutsson with DND Senior Undersecretary Irineo Espino on Jan. 26.
“Showcasing Sweden’s strong defense industry to counter threats, State Secretary Knutsson emphasized the country’s cost-effective materiel, primarily its aircraft. Relatedly, Senior Undersecretary Espino conveyed DND’s openness to explore cooperation in technology transfer and research and development, among others, in line with the Philippines’ efforts to achieve a self-reliant defense posture and more effectively protect its sovereignty,” he added.
The two officials also discussed common security challenges affecting both the Philippines and Sweden.
“Among the issues they discussed included climate change, the ongoing war in Ukraine, cross-strait tensions, and the South China Sea issue. Both sides looked forward to developing a long-term bilateral cooperation, underscoring the importance of upholding the rules-based international order and strengthening security ties between like-minded countries,” Andolong said.
Both sides also discussed the implementation of the memorandum of understanding concerning Cooperation in the Acquisition of Defense Materiel, updates on the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program and funding requirements, and the Philippine procurement law.
He added that Knutsson’s visit comes after Espino’s courtesy call to the Swedish official in Stockholm in October last year.
Andolong said both officials also emphasized the urgency of addressing security threats in the continuously evolving cyber domain.
“Underlining cyber security as one of the President’s priority agenda, Senior Undersecretary Espino shared the DND and its bureaus’ efforts to build a stronger cyber security framework and identify potential partners in this regard,” he added. (PNA)