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Marcos, Vietnamese PM vow to expand agri ties

LABUAN BAJO, Indonesia — President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh have agreed to expand their cooperation when it comes to agriculture.

During a bilateral meeting here, the Philippines and Vietnam also vowed to strengthen their partnership when it comes to trade and investment, tourism, as well as defense and security.

Marcos highlighted the flourishing trade between the two countries, particularly in agricultural products, noting that this has been a very important part of the country’s food supply.

“I think that the market is ripe for continued development in the areas of course as I mention, 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 said.

The Philippine leader also acknowledged that the ties between the two countries improved with the help of the private sector. He said it is time for both governments to catch up with the private sector and “strengthen our relationship to be beyond just in trading in rice.”

Marcos also said he sees Vietnam as an important partner when it comes to rehabilitating the Philippine tourism sector following the lockdowns made due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“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,” Marcos added.

For his part, Pham promised to work with the Philippines regarding trade promotion, which aims to continue diversifying supply chains and trade between the two countries.

“When it comes to products... we can afford to provide a long term strategic supply to the Philippines, to 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.

“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,” he added.

The Vietnamese leader also asked for the Philippines’ support for Vietnam's candidacy to various United Nations-led organizations, including the UN Human Rights Council, the UN Security Council, the Presidency of the 91st session of the United Nations General Assembly, as well as the UN Commission on International Trade. —KBK, GMA Integrated News