LABUAN BAJO—President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. and Lao People's Democratic Republic Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone on Wednesday vowed to work together to improve the two countries education sectors.
Marcos and Siphandone had a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the 42nd ASEAN Summit held in Indonesia. They both agreed to work with other ASEAN leaders toward the collective benefit of the regional bloc.
“We have 2,000 more or less Filipino nationals who are living in Lao and working in Lao PDR and we are very proud of the contributions that they have made, especially in the educational sector,” Marcos said.
"But also there’s much more to that; there’s also an educational aspect and I think that we have the basis in our agreements and we can build upon that regard,” Marcos said.
Marcos further said the two countries could boost the professional exchanges in terms of work, saying the similarities between the Philippines and Lao “have been well noted and are to the advantage of” both countries.
The two leaders also discussed tourism, health, trade, and people-to-people exchange agreements.
Meanwhile, Siphadone relayed an invitation for Marcos to have a state visit to Lao PDR.
“I would like to extend an invitation from His Excellency Thongloun Sisoulith, President of the Laos PDR, to Your Excellency to make a state visit at a time of convenience for you,” Siphandone told Marcos.
In return, Marcos also extended an invitation to the Prime Minister and his President to visit the Philippines.
Marcos is looking forward to working with the Lao government, noting that the Philippines and Laos “have had a very long and fruitful relationship.”
“We have always felt that this has been a relationship -- that although this has been a long-standing one that we can further develop. We had a very good working relationship with your predecessor, and we certainly look forward to continuing that during your chairmanship for ASEAN in the next ASEAN sessions,” Marcos said.
“The Philippines and Lao PDR, as I said, have had a very long relationship but it is something that... there’s much potential, now that our economies, especially here in ASEAN and around the region have begun to show signs of life after the pandemic,” he added. —NB, GMA Integrated News