President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Thursday, November 9, met with Viet Nam President Tran Dai Quang at the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM). President Duterte had a bilateral meeting with the Vietnamese leader, who congratulated President Duterte on his chairmanship of ASEAN 2017.
President Duterte, for his part, congratulated Tran for the successful holding of the APEC. The two leaders discussed cooperation in the areas of politics, defense, and economy, and campaign against illegal drugs, among others.
In terms of defense cooperation, the Philippines expressed the commitment to establish lasting defense cooperation.
Among the agreements that provide frameworks for defense cooperation are the Memorandum of Agreement on Defense Cooperation signed in 2010 and the Joint Statement on the Establishment of a Strategic Partnership between the Philippines and Viet Nam signed in 2015.
With regard to political cooperation, the President recalled his productive visit to Viet Nam in September last year and to express desire to concretize the agreements reached on further developing political, security and defense, economic, agriculture, and cultural cooperation.
With regard to economic cooperation, the President conveyed the desire to increase the two-way trade.
Viet Nam is the Philippines’ 12th major trading partner in 2016 at USD2.72 billion. Areas for trade promotion to Viet Nam include consumer products, food, and industrial manufactures.
In addition, Duterte reiterated his appreciation for the renewal of rice trade between the two countries. President Duterte expressed as well appreciation for the increasing tourist arrivals from Viet Nam, which increased by 7.33 percent to 33,895 in 2016.