MANILA — The Philippines and Vietnam have adopted on Wednesday a new five-year plan of action mapping specific commitments the two nations will jointly undertake to bolster various areas of cooperation.
The document, which covers the period 2019 to 2024, builds on the series of inter-agency consultations and thorough bilateral negotiations between the two nations in the past few years.
“It comprehensively maps out specific commitments we will undertake jointly in the political, security, economic, and cultural spheres, as well as in other various areas,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said in a press briefing after the 9th Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) meeting with Vietnam Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh.
During the discussion, Minh noted that the political and diplomatic relations between the two countries “have grown positively with a higher level of trust, as evident in the substance and outcomes of the frequent visits and contacts between our high-level leaders.”
On economic cooperation, Minh said Vietnam stands ready to “further step up” the already thriving aspect of relations.
The Vietnamese official said Philippines and Vietnam’s bilateral trade turnover in 2018 alone amounted to USD4.72 billion, up 18 percent against 2017.
In the years ahead, the two top diplomats agreed to target a 20 percent bilateral trade turnover annual growth.
“Both our countries are among the fastest growing economies in Asia, and that is conducive to further promoting our trade and investment relations in the years ahead,” he said. (PNA) By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora