Vietnam, The Philippines Set Impressive Target in Two-way Trade

At the 10th meeting of the Vietnam-Philippines Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation, the two countries agreed they should strive to achieve USD 10 Billion in two-way trade.
August 03, 2023 | 14:07

Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son and his Philippine counterpart Enrique Manalo co-chaired the 10th meeting of the countries’ joint commission on bilateral cooperation in Hanoi on August 2.

Manalo, who is on an official visit to Vietnam, affirmed that the Philippines always values consolidating and developing the friendly and multi-faceted cooperation with Vietnam, its sole strategic partner in ASEAN.

In response, Son emphasised the significance of Manalo’s trip in further promoting the bilateral strategic partnership.

Vietnam, The Philippines Target USD 10 billion in Two-way Trade
At the meeting. Photo: VNA

At the function, the sides conducted a comprehensive review and evaluation of the bilateral relationship since the 9th meeting held in Manila in March 2019 as well as of the implementation of the Vietnam-Philippines action programme for 2019-2024.

They expressed their satisfaction with the sound development of the ties over the past four years, even during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Both sides agreed upon various specific measures to continue promoting collaboration across spheres, including high-level exchanges and contacts, especially the organisation of Philippine President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr.'s visit to Vietnam at an appropriate time.

They aimed to effectively carry out bilateral cooperation mechanisms; advance the building of an action programme implementing the Vietnam-Philippines strategic partnership for 2025-2030; and to strengthen defence and security cooperation. Moreover, they agreed to strive to bring bilateral trade turnover to US $10 billion at an early date, with a particular emphasis on rice trade.

They pledged to enhance maritime cooperation, share information and coordinate to promptly address arising issues at sea, and improve the effectiveness of cooperation in combating illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Additionally, they concurred to promote collaboration in other important areas such as agriculture, culture, tourism, education, transport, science-technology, environment, and people-to-people exchange.

Vietnam, The Philippines Target USD 10 billion in Two-way Trade
Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son and Philippine Foreign Minister Enrique Manalo handed over the Minutes of the 10th session of the Joint Committee on Bilateral Cooperation between Vietnam and the Philippines. Photo: VNA

Vietnam and the Philippines will continue coordinating and supporting each other at multilateral forums, especially in ASEAN and the United Nations; as well as working with other ASEAN member states to maintain ASEAN's solidarity and centrality and promote the bloc’s sub-regional cooperation, contributing to building a strong and prosperous community.

The two ministers also agreed to strengthen cooperation between their foreign ministries, regarding exchanges on international and regional issues of mutual concern, and joint work between their diplomatic academies.

Concluding the meeting, the ministers signed an agreement and agreed to organize the 11th meeting in the Philippines at a suitable time in 2025.

The same day, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh held a reception in Hanoi for the Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines.

PM Chinh expressed his satisfaction with the strong developments of bilateral strategic partnerships over the past years. Two-way trade hit all-high of nearly USD 8 billion last year. Further attention has been paid to maritime cooperation, especially concerning the marine ecological environment, maritime economy, and illegal fishing prevention.

The PM suggested both sides work closely together to achieve goals set in the 10th meeting of the Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation, including facilitating the exchange of delegations at all levels, stepping up economic-trade ties, considering removing unnecessary barriers and supporting each other in ensuring food security.

Vietnam, The Philippines Target USD 10 billion in Two-way Trade
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (R) and Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines Enrique A. Manalo. Photo: VNA

Manalo, for his part, described Vietnam as the only strategic partner of the Philippines in ASEAN with shared similarities and strategic interests.

The guest wished that both countries would actively push forward joint work in cultural exchange, tourism, education training, and locality-to-locality connectivity.

He underlined the importance of agriculture cooperation and rice trade to ensure food security and agreed to share experiences in promising fields of the two countries’ interest as suggested by the host.

On global and regional issues of shared concern, they vowed to continue supporting each other, maintaining solidarity and centrality of ASEAN; maintaining peace, stability, security, safety, and freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea; cooperating in settling disputes in the East Sea through peaceful means in accordance with international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS 1982).

Both sides also agreed to fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), and expedite negotiations for a substantive and effective Code of Conduct (COC), which is in line with international law and UNCLOS 1982.

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