Duterte hails five decades of PH-Singapore friendship | Global News

Duterte hails five decades of PH-Singapore friendship

/ 10:10 PM December 15, 2016

SINGAPORE – Saying that the 180,000 Filipinos in the city-state is testimony to the enduring friendship of the Philippines with Singapore, President Duterte expressed optimism for greater mutually-beneficial collaboration between the two countries.

In his toast at the state banquet at the Istana hall, Mr. Duterte said that the five decades of friendship of the Philippines and Singapore have become multi-faceted and multi-dimensional.

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“We work closely on political issues, pursuing principled positions on the rule of law in the peaceful settlement of disputes. We reaffirm, respect an independence and the non-interference in the internal affairs of states,” Mr. Duterte said.

He likewise cited both countries’ commitment to make Southeast Asia and the rest of the region “safe and secure from traditional, emerging transnational threats.”

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Mr. Duterte further noted the intensified two-way trade and commerce as well as more opportunities for investments in both countries.

For his part, President Tony Tan Keng Yam assures Singapore’s support for the Philippines’ chairmanship of the ASean next year.

“As founding members of ASEAN, the Philippines and Singapore share a vision and a goal of maintaining peace and stability for our region,” Tan said.

“Both our countries believe in trade and development to improve the lives of our peoples. Singapore companies are keen to invest in the Philippines – one of Asia’s fastest growing economies,” the Singaporean President noted.

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On Tan’s assurance,  Mr. Duterte said that the two countries “can and should look forward to a future of greater mutually beneficial collaboration.”

“This is a future we can start, chart together and aim to achieve. This is how friends should be,” President Duterte said, adding that he looks forward to hosting the Singaporean leaders in the Philippines.

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