Da Nang, Viet Nam–President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday, November 9, met with Viet Nam President Tran Dai Quang and Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill at the side-lines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM) here.
Duterte had a bilateral meeting with the Vietna-mese leader, who congra-tulated Duterte on his chairmanship of ASEAN 2017.
Duterte, for his part, congratulated Tran for the successful holding of the APEC. The two leaders discussed cooperation in the areas of politics, de-fense, 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 agree-ments that provide frame-works for defense coope-ration are the Memoran-dum of Agreement on De-fense Cooperation signed in 2010 and the Joint Statement on the Estab-lishment of a Strategic Part-nership between the Philip-pines and Viet Nam signed in 2015.
With regard to econo-mic cooperation, the Presi-dent conveyed the desire to increase the two-way trade.
Viet Nam is the Philip-pines’ 12th major trading partner in 2016 at USD2.72 billion. Areas for trade promotion to Viet Nam include consumer products, food, and industrial manu-factures.
In addition, Duterte reiterated his appreciation for the renewal of rice trade between the two countries. Duterte expressed as well appreciation for the in-creasing 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 Domin-guez III, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr., Philippine Special Envoy to APEC Jose de Venecia and Spe-cial Assistant to the Pre-sident Christopher Law-rence Go.
Following his bilateral meeting with Viet Nam, Duterte met with Papua New Guinea Prime Minis-ter Peter O’Neill at the Premier Village Resort.
During the bilateral meeting, Duterte expressed the Philippines’ support for Papua New Guinea’s chair-manship and hosting of the APEC in 2018.
Both sides lauded the growing bilateral trade re-lations and looked forward to further enhancing eco-nomic cooperation, particu-larly in agriculture and fisheries. Both sides also acknowledged strong people to people ties, noting that there are 35,000 Fili-pinos in Papua New Guinea.
Accompanying the President were DFA Sec-retary Alan Peter Caye-tano, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, Socio-Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia, Philippine Ambassador to Papua New Guinea Bien-venido Tejano, Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence Go, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque; Chief Presi-dential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, Lt. Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero, BFAR Secretary Eduardo Gongone, DFA Undersec-retary for International Economic Relations Manuel Teehankee, DFA Assistant Secretary Milli-cent Cruz – Paredes; DFA Special Assistant Susana Maria Mendiola; and DFA Special Assistant Jet Olfato. PND