Sunday, June 25, 2023

The Philippines and Việt Nam: A Strategic Partnership with Resurgence and Dynamism


On the 125th anniversary of the Proclamation of the Independence of the Republic of the Philippines, Ambassador Meynardo LB. Montealegre writes for Việt Nam News about the strength and depth of the two countries’ strategic partnership and opportunities for further engagement. 

On the 125th anniversary of the Proclamation of the Independence of the Republic of the Philippines, Ambassador Meynardo LB. Montealegre writes for Việt Nam News about the strength and depth of the two countries’ strategic partnership and opportunities for further engagement

The 12th of June marks the 125th anniversary of the declaration of Philippine independence and the anniversary of the establishment of the first republic in Asia. The Philippines shares this important occasion with Việt Nam and reaffirms its commitment for the strengthening and flourishing of our strategic partnership as we likewise celebrate the 47th anniversary of our diplomatic relations.

The relationship between the Philippines and Việt Nam has spanned centuries through the interaction of our seafaring people reliant on the bounties of the water between our nations for fishing and trade. Bound by similar historical experiences and aspirations, the Philippines consistently considers Việt Nam as a reliable partner in promoting peace, stability, and prosperity in the region, in the adherence to the rule of law, and in the peaceful resolution of disputes in conformity with international law including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Both the Philippines and Việt Nam were largely responsible in the establishment of a regional maritime code of conduct, which paved the way for the creation of the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea – a vital document that has become an important fiber in the maintenance of peace and stability in the sub-region.

Bilaterally, Việt Nam has been a stable trade and investment partner of the Philippines with two-way trade reaching a record high of US$ 7.8 billion in 2022. Việt Nam is the Philippines’ 11th trading partner; the 12th export market of the Philippines and the top 10 supplier of imports to Philippine consumers and industries. Rice trade remains an important aspect of our bilateral trade, with nearly $450 million rice import from Việt Nam in the first quarter of 2023 while Philippines supplies Việt Nam with digital monolithic integrated circuits, cathodes and refined copper, semiconductor devices and other electrical and electronic machineries, equipment, and parts.

Notable brands from the Philippines have investments in Việt Nam that span several decades particularly on food and beverage industry, the services industry including water supply management, construction, and transportation. These Philippine companies have provided quality and reliable products and services and employment opportunities while positively influencing the lifestyle of the Vietnamese people. Recently, Philippine companies have also invested in renewable energy in Việt Nam supporting its domestic and international commitments for a greener economy and sustainable development.

Guided by the Plan of Action for the Implementation of the Strategic Partnership for 2019 to 2024, the Philippine Embassy in Hà Nội also strives to foster deeper and more meaningful relationships with People’s Committees and the Union of Friendship Organisations, as well as with universities and private individuals.

Similar with Việt Nam, the Philippines is on track with its 6.5 to 7.0 per cent GDP target, registering a growth rate of 6.4 per cent for the first quarter of 2023. As both countries economically develop, further cooperation opportunities become more important and strategic. Working-level meetings have been scheduled by both sides to review existing cooperation arrangements and finalize pending instruments to embrace new priorities and opportunities related to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, green technology, circular economy and strengthen traditional areas of cooperation on legal and judicial cooperation, education, culture. Both sides have agreed to re-establish mechanisms for timely coordination to ensure the protection and welfare of Philippine and Vietnamese fishermen, address fisheries concern, and revitalise the merchant maritime shipping arrangements, and strengthen existing defense and security cooperation.

Indeed, the Philippines and Việt Nam have, individually and collectively, remained steadfast in contributing to the economic development of the ASEAN region. As a fellow ASEAN brother, the Philippines will always strive to support and engage with Việt Nam on all levels and all areas of cooperation guided by a firm belief that the peace and prosperity of both countries will work towards the benefit of others across the sea.



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