Palace: PH, Vietnam agree to expand trade, agriculture, tourism cooperation
MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh have agreed to boost the strategic partnership between Manila and Hanoi by expanding cooperation on trade and investment, tourism, agriculture, and defense and security.
The Presidential Communications Office (PCO) said in a statement Thursday that Marcos and Pham held a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the 42nd Summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Labuan Bajo, Indonesia.
During the meeting, Marcos noted the flourishing trade between the Philippines and Vietnam as well as with other countries, particularly in agricultural products, which has been a very important part of the country’s food supply, according to the PCO.
Marcos also said that the relationship between the two countries improved with the help of the private sector, noting it is time for both governments to catch up and “strengthen our relationship to be beyond just in trading in rice,” the PCO added.
“I think that the market is ripe for continued development in the areas, of course, as I mentioned, in agriculture, transfer of technologies for climate change, the different areas that we have been looking at also at specific products that Vietnam has been successful at,” Marcos told Prime Minister Pham, as quoted by the PCO in the statement.
According to the PCO, Marcos likewise said he sees Vietnam as an important partner in rehabilitating the Philippine tourism sector following the devastation brought by the successive COVID-19 lockdowns.
“So I think that this is an important area to… for us to develop stronger relations. Because that is the way that we will derive strength from each other, from ASEAN, from our member states, from also our agreements that we make between the two countries,” he said.
“I think is something that we, the Philippines, are ready to initiate, and we will after this start to make contact, especially between our foreign service and eventually maybe even with our military leaders,” the President added.
For his part, Prime Minister Pham promised to work with the Philippines on trade promotion which will continue to diversify supply chains and trade between the two countries.
“When it comes to products that we can afford to provide a long-term strategic supply to the Philippines continue to try to do so by tasking with the ministries and agencies to work on said matters because we do have great empathy with sympathy for the Philippines in the natural disaster that they often have to come across,” Pham said, as quoted by the PCO in the statement.
“And if you can ensure a long-term strategic cooperation in the provision of such goods both and ensure stability both in terms of the goods themselves and have their price, that would help us to be better resilient to external shocks in the years to come,” the Vietnamese leader added.
Prime Minister Pham also asked for the Philippines’ support for Vietnam’s candidacy to various United Nations-led organizations such as the UN Human Rights Council, UN Security Council, the Presidency of the 91st session of the United Nations General Assembly, and UN Commission on International Trade.