Vietnam, Philippines Presidents hold talks, forging cooperation in various spheres
|President Vo Van Thuong and Philippine President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr. hold talks in Hanoi on January 30, 2024. (Photo: WVR/Tuan Viet)
At the talks, held following a state-level welcome ceremony for the Philippine leader, President Thuong stressed the significance of his guest’s first-ever state visit to Vietnam in his capacity as President of the Philippines.
The visit is significant as it will contribute to creating new momentum for the bilateral strategic partnership, the host said, congratulating the Philippines on its socio-economic achievements, notably its economic growth which is among the highest in the region.
President Marcos Jr. also lauded Vietnam’s outstanding results in socio-economic development and external affairs over the past time, and affirmed that Vietnam remains the only strategic partner of the Philippines in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). He also expressed his hope for more effective and substantive cooperation between the two countries.
The sides highlighted the development of the bilateral relationship after it was upgraded to a strategic partnership in 2015, saying the political and diplomatic ties have been consolidated through all-level contacts and delegation exchanges, and bilateral cooperation mechanisms.
Two-way trade has been rapidly growing over the past years, they highlighted, adding that the Philippines continues to be Vietnam’s biggest rice importer.
Host and guest also noted with pleasure progress in collaboration in culture, tourism, education-training, and people-to-people exchange after the COVID-19 pandemic.
They agreed to strengthen cooperation in politics and diplomacy through the exchange of visits and contacts at all levels, and work together to set out an action programme implementing the strategic partnership for 2025-2030.
The two countries will also enhance collaboration in economy, striving to soon raise the bilateral trade revenue to 10 billion USD by easing trade barriers, facilitating exports, optimising trade agreements in the region, and encouraging their businesses to invest in such sectors as processing, high-tech agriculture, infrastructure, and oil and gas.
The bilateral cooperation is expected to be expanded to new, important fields like digital economy, green economy, digital transformation, circular economy, and renewable energy.
The two sides consented to work together in climate change response, pollution settlement, carbon emission reduction and plastic waste treatment, among others.
The guest thanked Vietnam for its readiness to ensure stable and long-term rice supply to the Philippines, and highly valued the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on rice trade as part of his trip, which he believed will contribute to ensuring food security and forging solidarity between the two countries.
President Marcos Jr. also hailed contributions by the Vietnamese community in the Philippines to local socio-economic development.
|President Vo Van Thuong and Philippine President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr. witness the exchange of cooperation documents in agriculture, rice trade, maritime affairs and culture. (Photo: Tuan Viet)
The Presidents concurred to strengthen collaboration in national defence and security, and shared the view on the importance of maritime cooperation. They also agreed to cooperate in raising the capacity for fighting cross-border and high-tech crimes.
President Thuong suggested the Philippines continue its humanitarian treatment towards Vietnamese fishermen, and soon extend the hotline agreement between the two agriculture ministries to quickly exchange information on illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, helping Vietnam soon have the European Commission's “yellow card” warning on its seafood removed.
The leaders agreed to expand cooperation in other important spheres like education, culture, and tourism, touching upon the opening of more direct flights and the enhancement of people-to-people exchange.
President Marcos Jr. expressed his support for Vietnam’s successful hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in 2027.
President Vo Van Thuong and Philippine President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr. witness the exchange of the Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in prevention and management of incidents in the East Sea. (Photo: WVR/Tuan Viet)
For the East Sea issue, they committed to maintaining and promoting peace, security, stability, safety and freedom of navigation and overflights, and called on parties to exercise self-restraint, not use force or threaten to use force, fully respect diplomatic and legal processes, and address disputes by peaceful measures in line with the basic principles of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
The guest invited President Thuong to pay a state visit to the Philippines at an appropriate time. The Vietnamese leader accepted the invitation with pleasure.
A joint press communique was issued following the talks, alongside the official ceremony for cooperation agreements in the fields of agriculture, rice trade, maritime cooperation and culture.