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PIA Press Release

RP, Vietnam agree to strengthen bilateral and trade relations

Jeju, South Korea (via PLDT) (2 June) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung held bilateral talks at the start of 20th ASEAN-ROK Commemorative Summit held at the Shilla Hotel on Monday and agreed to strengthen cooperation and bilateral ties between the two countries.

Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Policy Enrique Manalo told reporters that among the cooperation agreements reached by the two leaders included trade in rice and fostering peace and security in the South China Sea.

He added that Vietnam committed its support for the Philippine's candidate to the United Nations and other regional fora.

"They (President Arroyo and Prime Minister Nguyen) just went over and reviewed the bilateral relations (between the two countries) and (renewed) support for our various candidates in the United Nations and regional fora," Manalo said.

"We said we'd cooperate on trade in rice and on various issues such as the submissions of the continental shelf issue to the United Nations and shall also promote further cooperation in the peace and security in the South China Sea through the possibility of finalizing an understanding or defense cooperation (between RP and Vietnam)," he added.

He said the two leaders agreed to cooperate and hold consultations with one another "so that any tension can be settled peacefully."

On trade, Manalo pointed out that import and export between the two countries have exceeded earlier targets set for 2010.

"Total trade between the Philippines and Vietnam is over $2.2-billion so we've surpassed the target we set for 2010…which is $2-billion," Manalo said.

"In effect we've already gone over it," he added.

He described the bilateral meeting as "very friendly and cordial which reaffirms our friendship and ties."

"In the end, we confirmed our very close relations between the Philippines and Vietnam to continue to cooperate on the economic front and also on political and security," Manalo said. (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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