Da Nang, Viet Nam — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte met with Viet Nam President Tran Dai Quang and Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill at the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM) on Thursday November 10 here.
President Duterte had a bilateral meeting with the Vietnamese leader, who congratulated President Duterte on his chairmanship of ASEAN 2017.
President Duterte, for his part, congratulated Tran for the successful holding of the APEC. The two leaders discussed cooperation in the areas of politics, defense, and economy, and campaign against illegal drugs, among others.
With regard to political cooperation, the President recalled his productive visit to Viet Nam in September last year and to express desire to concretize the agreements reached on further developing political, security and defense, economic, agriculture, and cultural cooperation.
In terms of defense cooperation, the Philippines expressed the commitment to establish lasting defense cooperation.
Among the agreements that provide frameworks for defense cooperation are the Memorandum of Agreement on Defense Cooperation signed in 2010 and the Joint Statement on the Establishment of a Strategic Partnership between the Philippines and Viet Nam signed in 2015.
With regard to economic cooperation, the President conveyed the desire to increase the two-way trade.
Viet Nam is the Philippines’ 12th major trading partner in 2016 at USD2.72 billion. Areas for trade promotion to Viet Nam include consumer products, food, and industrial manufactures.
In addition, Duterte reiterated his appreciation for the renewal of rice trade between the two countries. President Duterte expressed as well appreciation for the increasing tourist arrivals from Viet Nam, which increased by 7.33 percent to 33,895 in 2016.
Among the officials present during the bilateral meeting are Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr., Philippine Special Envoy to APEC Jose de Venecia, and Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence Go.
Following his bilateral meeting with Viet Nam, President Duterte met with Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill at the Premier Village Resort.
During the bilateral meeting, President Duterte expressed the Philippines’ support for Papua New Guinea’s chairmanship and hosting of the APEC in 2018.
Both sides lauded the growing bilateral trade relations and looked forward to further enhancing economic cooperation, particularly in agriculture and fisheries. Both sides also acknowledged strong people to people ties, noting that there are 35,000 Filipinos in Papua New Guinea.
Accompanying the President were DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, Socio-Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia, Philippine Ambassador to Papua New Guinea Bienvenido Tejano, Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence Go, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque; Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, Lt. Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero, BFAR Secretary Eduardo Gongone, DFA Undersecretary for International Economic Relations Manuel Teehankee, DFA Assistant Secretary Millicent Cruz – Paredes; DFA Special Assistant Susana Maria Mendiola; and DFA Special Assistant Jet Olfato.-PNA