40th and 41st ASEAN Summits: Vietnamese Foreign Minister Meets Philippine Counterpart

Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son met Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs Enrique Manalo, within the framework of the 40th and 41st ASEAN Summits and related summits.

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Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son (L) and his Philippine counterpart Enrique Manalo. Photo: baoquocte.vn
Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son (L) and his Philippine counterpart Enrique Manalo. Photo: baoquocte.vn

Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son and his Philippine counterpart Enrique Manalo expressed their delight at the progress made in the countries’ strategic partnership at their meeting in Cambodia on November 9 within the framework of the 40th and 41st ASEAN Summits and related summits.

On November 10, preparatory meetings of ASEAN Foreign Ministers are planned. They include the 25th ASEAN Political-Security Community Council (APSC) and the 31st ASEAN Coordinating Council (ACC) meetings, serving the final review of preparations for the summits.

According to VNA, they agreed on a number of measures to deepen relations towards practical outcomes in the near future with a focus on increasing exchanges of delegations, particularly high-ranking ones.

The two sides also agreed to work closely to ensure the success of President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos’ visit to Vietnam.

On this occasion, Minister Son conveyed a message from the President of the National Assembly of Vietnam Vuong Dinh Hue thanking the Senate President of the Philippines Juan Miguel F. Zubiri for sending an official invitation to visit at the end of November 2022.

The ministers emphasised the need to resume existing cooperation mechanisms between the two sides, which were interrupted recently due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

They said Vietnam and the Philippines should convene the 10th meeting of their joint committee on bilateral cooperation; make efforts to effectively implement bilateral agreements, including the 2019-2024 action plan for the countries’ strategic partnership; step up bilateral trade-investment and restrict the imposition of trade barriers.

Son said Vietnam is willing to continue supplying rice to the Philippines in its Government’s efforts to ensure food security.

Vietnam-Philippines strategic partnership sound progress:Two Ministers expressed their delight at the progress made in the countries’ strategic partnership. Photo: WVR
Vietnam-Philippines strategic partnership sound progress: Two Ministers expressed their delight at the progress made in the countries’ strategic partnership. Photo: WVR

The Philippines is the top importer of Vietnamese rice during January – September this year, accounting for 43.9% of the country’s total export of the grain, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD). It purchased 2.47 million tonnes of Vietnamese rice worth USD 1.14 billion, respectively up 35.3% and 22.2% from a year earlier.

The two sides agreed that maritime cooperation needs to be strengthened. In that spirit, the two sides will soon convene the Meeting of Vietnam – Philippines Sea and Ocean Cooperation Working Group.

They also concurred on the need to expand cooperation in fields such as climate change response, green growth, digital transformation, e-commerce, tourism, education and training.

Regarding multilateral cooperation, the ministers said given many complicated and unpredictable changes facing the region and the world, it is necessary to strengthen exchanges and consultations in a bid to beef up ASEAN’s solidarity, strength and centrality.

The Philippine economy expanded by 7.4% year-on-year in the second quarter of 2022 as the country eased the Covid-19 mobility restrictions allowing more social and economic activities to thrive, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

In a recent article, Eurasia Review cited the forecast by the World Bank (WB) as showing that GDP in Vietnam, the Philippines, and Malaysia will grow in excess of 6%, while growth rates of Indonesia and Cambodia are expected around 5%. Singapore, Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar are all expected to grow around the 3% mark.

Hannah Nguyen