MANILA -- President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. got an added boost of commitment from Vietnam in a wide range of areas that include food security, climate change, defense and food supply.
This comes after the chief executive met with Vietnam National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue in Malacañang on Wednesday.
"I am looking forward to building upon excellent relationships between our two countries. And under your leadership, we will continue to work closely together and I am very confident under your leadership and with your experience, you will help contribute further to strengthen the bilateral relations between our two countries and also in helping elevate the role and position of the Philippines on the global stage," Chairman Vuong told President Marcos.
In their meeting, President Marcos said he was "very fortunate" to have met his Vietnamese counterpart, President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, at the 29th Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Bangkok, Thailand last week.
"I was able to have a meeting with your President wherein we discussed many subjects that primarily [include] agriculture and the trade between our two countries, when it comes to the agricultural importation and in importing from Vietnam to the Philippines," Marcos told the Vietnamese official.
"He was kind enough to make a commitment of Vietnam to always include the Philippines as part of your trade partners, especially when it comes to rice. We covered many other subjects as well. We touched upon the issues in our region about defense and security and some of the common interests between the Philippines and Vietnam," Marcos pointed out.
The chief executive has earlier confirmed he would visit Vietnam upon the invitation of President Nguyen.
Marcos was also able to meet with Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Cambodia, where they agreed to further strengthen their partnership in defense, trade, investment, agriculture and maritime security.
Chairman Vuong, for his part, said he was "much impressed" about the commitments made by the Philippines during the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) for expressing the "concerted efforts and coordination to address the climate change and to work together on transitioning towards the clean energy."
President Marcos was represented by House Speaker Martin Romualdez during the AIPA event.
Chairman Vuong also expressed hope to "enhance the partnership" between the two countries' legislature.
"We are hopeful that we can do more to enhance the relationships between our political parties and government-to-government and parliament-to-parliament relationships, and most importantly, the people-to-people exchanges," the Vietnamese official said.
President Marcos said he was "a little surprised that 16, 18 years have transpired since the exchange of visits between our two legislatures –– that is much too long for such close neighbors."
"So it's not only the partnerships that make for example, the multilateral partnerships that we make, in ASEAN, in APEC, and similar groups have become important because that gives us a common position and that common position gives us strength. But also the bilateral partnerships that we foster, that we strengthen, are also going to be very, very important and continue to be important for a very long time," said the President.
"I’m very optimistic that the Asia-Pacific region, the APEC region, will return to its old position as the driving force behind global economy," Marcos added. (PND)