“Vietnam always treasures the role of the Philippines in ASEAN, and as the respective strategic partner, both countries should step up all-faceted relations,” Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said.
He made the remarks while hosting Foreign Minister of the Philippines Teodoro Lopez Locsin in Hanoi on July 8.
Minister Teodoro Lopez Locsin said he had successful talks with Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, describing it as evidence of close relations between the two countries.
He said the Philippines and Vietnam are the two most dynamic economies in Southeast Asia so the countries should work harder to clearly show their roles.
Apart from economic ties, the countries should intensify defense and security cooperation, thus improving their national defense capacity, he said.
He said his country wishes to soon sign an agreement on import and export of fruits and farm products, considering the deal as the top priority.
For his part, PMPhuc said the two countries have always coordinated well at international forums.
The two countries’ business communities should boost exchanges to achieve higher two-way trade, thus benefiting people, he said, also suggesting the enhancement of cooperation in sea issues, agriculture, and energy via organizing more visits and trade promotion activities.
The PM asserted Vietnam will support the Philippines in working as the ASEAN-China coordinator in 2019-2021, expecting the Philippines to work closely with Vietnam during the latter’s ASEAN 2020 Chairmanship and the UN Security Council’s non-permanent membership in 2020-2021.
PM Phuc highly valued the Philippines’s positive contributions to the negotiation for a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC), hoping the country will continue pushing for the early achievement of the comprehensive, practical and efficient COC when it is the coordinator of ASEAN-China relations.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh welcomed the first official visit to Vietnam by Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro Lopez Locsin during their talks in Hanoi on July 8, believing that the visit will help strengthen the bilateral strategic partnership.
Minh said the visit will also promote ties between the two foreign ministries following the ninth meeting of the Vietnam-Philippines Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation last March.
Locsin, who is in Vietnam from July 7-10, spoke highly of Vietnam’s considerable progress in national development and global integration over the past years.
Both sides agreed to facilitate all-level visits and people-to-people exchange, regularly maintain and effectively uphold bilateral cooperation mechanisms, including the joint working group on ocean-related affairs and defense policy dialogue.
They vowed to consider issuing annual political consultation mechanism and signing new cooperation agreements on national defense, security and law enforcement.
Host and guest affirmed determination to remove barriers regarding trade and investment and work closely together to hold the third meeting of the commission this year.
The Philippine Foreign Secretary pledged to make it easier for Vietnamese fruits, vegetables, cattle, and fowl meat to enter the Asian country soon.
The two sides promised to improve the efficiency of cooperation in other important fields of education – training, labor, transportation, science-technology, culture-tourism, particularly in marine issues and fishery.
They highlighted the need to enhance consultation and offer mutual liaison on issues related to security and strategy within ASEAN framework, improve the bloc’s security and central role together with other member states, and successfully realize the ASEAN Vision 2025.
They also committed to working closely together at multilateral forums, especially at the UN when Vietnam undertakes the role of non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2020-2021 tenure.
On the East Sea issue, they vowed to consistently follow the principle of peacefully settling disputes in line with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
The leaders stressed the necessity to enhance trust and the importance of non-militarisation, refraining from actions that could complicate the situation and increase tension in the East Sea.
They vowed to offer mutual support and maintain regional solidarity in the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea, as well as negotiations on reaching a practical, effective Code of Conduct in the East Sea in line with international law and 1982 UNCLOS.
Following the talks, the two ministers signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation between the two foreign ministries. –VNA