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Mar 18, 2021 / 14:53

Vietnam seeks greater maritime cooperation with the Philippines: PM

Maritime relations between Vietnam and the Philippines are being strengthened, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has said.

Vietnam attached significance to its strategic partnership with the Philippines, in which maritime relations hold a key role.

 Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, right, and Philippines’ Ambassador to Vietnam Meynardo Los Banos Montealegre. Photo: Quang Hieu

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc gave the remarks in a meeting with the Philippines’ Ambassador to Vietnam Meynardo Los Banos Montealegre on March 17.

“Vietnam-Philippines relations are growing strongly on all spheres, especially in maritime relations,” said Phuc, while expressing his support for Philippines’ stance on the South China Sea. 

Regarding bilateral trade relations, Phuc said the country aims to ensure long-term rice supply for the Philippines, one of Vietnam’s major rice buyers in the region, and expected the two countries to reach an agreement on food-related issues give the importance of food security during the Covid-19 pandemic.

As the two countries are set to celebrate 45th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations (1976-2021), Phuc said this is an opportunity for the two countries to further boost bilateral relations to a new height.

On his part, Filippino Ambassador Meynardo congratulated Vietnam on the country’s successful year as the Chair of ASEAN in 2020, while saying the country’s effective containment of the Covid-19 pandemic is an example for others.

Meynardo shared Phuc’s view that the two countries should continue to enhance cooperation in maritime.

Meynardo expressed his thanks for Vietnam to rescue Filipino fishermen along with other humanitarian aid, as well as for the donation of medical supplies for the Philippines in the fight against the Covid-19.

As the pandemic remains raging around the world, the Ambassador hoped both countries would cooperate in the trial and development process for Covid-19 vaccines.

Despite severe Covid-19 impacts, bilateral trade turnover in 2020 rose to US$5.3 billion from US$4.91 billion, in which Vietnam exported goods worth US$3.55 billion to the Philippines and around US$1.8 billion in imports.

Among Vietnam’s top ten export staples to the Philippines last year, rice recorded the highest turnover with US$1.05 billion, significantly higher than equipment and machinery at the second place of US$303 million.