Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro Lopez Locsin glowingly spoke of the trustworthy political and diplomatic relations at the ninth meeting of the Vietnam-Philippines Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation in Manila on March 6.
During the meeting, the two sides showed their delight at the strengthened and more practical cooperation in national defence and security via the exchange and sharing of information and experience between the armed forces alongside regular defence policy dialogues and naval consultations.
They consented to boost cooperation in search and rescue operations at sea and the fight against terrorists, pirates and cross-border crimes, especially drug-related crimes.
They consented to take measures to enhance economic cooperation and offer the best possible conditions for enterprises to promote investment and business partnerships towards maintaining annual two-way trade growth of above 20%. Last year’s bilateral trade hit US$4.72 billion, up 18 % as compared with one year earlier.
Vietnam assured its readiness to serve as a long-term and stable supplier of rice with competitive prices for the Philippines.
The two diplomats agreed to intensify measures to encourage Vietnamese and Philippine tourists to visit each other’s country and also hailed remarkable progress in maritime and oceanic collaboration as well as cooperation in agriculture, information-communications, environment, education-training, culture, sports and people-to-people exchange.
With regard to regional and international issues, Locsin congratulated Vietnam and extolled the country’s preparations for the second DPRK-USA Summit in late February.
He said the meeting was of great significance for building trust and promoting practical peace talks on the Korean Peninsula. Through the event, Vietnam has proven its role and positive contributions to regional and international issues.
|Deputy PM and FM Pham Binh Minh and President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (R)
Both sides were also of the same mind about closer coordination at multilateral forums and expressed their determination to coordinate with other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to foster intra-bloc solidarity and the grouping’s central role in regional security and strategic issues.
Vietnam pledged its strong support for the Philippines’ role as a country coordinator of the ASEAN-China relations until 2021 while the Philippines side voiced its support for Vietnam’s successful assumption of the ASEAN Chairmanship in 2020.
The pair also compared notes on their common concern over recent developments in the East Sea.
They underscored the strategic significance of ensuring peace, security and safety of navigation and aviation in the East Sea, settling disputes peacefully, practicing restraint, not complicating the situation, not militarizing, respecting international law and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS) as well as legal and diplomatic processes, fully implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and soon reaching a practical and effective Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).
At the end of the session, both sides signed the minutes of the meeting and an action programme realizing the Vietnam-Philippines strategic partnership for 2019-2024. The important documents serve as a foundation for the two sides to continue stepping up their cooperative strategic partnership in a more practical and effective manner, including activities marking the fifth anniversary of the strategic partnership in 2020 and the 45th founding anniversary of diplomatic ties in 2021.
Later the same day, Deputy PM and FM Pham Binh Miinh met with President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, who underlined the importance of the Philippines-Vietnam strategic partnership and applauded the outcomes of the ninth meeting of the committee, regarding this as a leading mechanism to continuously augment bilateral cooperation for the sake of both countries’ people. VOV/VNA
On this occasion, Minh presented the Vietnamese President’s second-class Labour Order to the Vietnamese Embassy in the Philippines for its remarkable contributions to national construction and defence.