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Retracing our Iberian roots

History links us not just to Spain but also to Mexico and Latin-American countries. The common thread is the historic Galleon trade that linked Manila to Acapulco, Mexico.

For more than 250 years, a small fleet of Spanish vessels - known in Mexico as the "Nao de la China” – made the 9,000-nautical-mile trek between Mexico and the Philippines, constituting the most important trade route to the East for the Iberian crown.

The historic Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade marked the beginnings of globalization. Scholars agree that the first real global trade dates here, forming the first direct and permanent trade link between Asia and Europe and the Americas. The world became a global village, with Manila as the most important port in Asia. It gave us a place in world history like no other economic feature of the country.

In the same manner, one could also say that the Philippines-Mexico trade routes were the forerunners to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the European Union (EU). It was through the galleon trade that the now important concept of regional trade integration was born.

After successfully rekindling our relations with Spain through the Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day Act which I authored, and the many cooperation initiatives that followed, it is high time that we renew our ties with Mexico and the other Latin American nations.

We should resurrect our long and fruitful ties with the Ibero-American countries which the galleon trade had forged. We look to the day when we will celebrate Dia del Galeon simultaneously in Manila, Mexico and Madrid. This should be the next frontier in our foreign relations policy, as well as scholarly research.

Our 16th century relations with these countries brought trade, investment, agriculture and the enrichment of our culture and language. It would be to our great cultural and economic benefit if we return to our roots and reunite ourselves with the Ibero-American bloc.

October 18, 2009, 2:29pm

Category: Articles and News | Added by: janus (2009-11-06) W
Views: 845 | Rating: 0.0/0
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