PASAY CITY — President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has returned from state visits to Brunei Darussalam and Singapore, bringing home agreements intended to bolster the Philippines' economic and security stance in the region. Upon his early Saturday morning arrival at Villamor Airbase, Marcos emphasized his commitment to enhancing regional stability and economic partnerships.

According to Philippines News Agency, his discussions in Brunei with Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah were fruitful, celebrating 40 years of diplomatic relations and exploring avenues for deeper bilateral cooperation, especially in defense, security, maritime cooperation, and economic sectors. These talks culminated in the signing of three memoranda of understanding concerning tourism, seafaring standards, and maritime cooperation, alongside a letter of intent on agricultural collaboration. President Marcos also supported Brunei's initiative to establish an ASEAN Center for Climate Change.

During his time in Brunei, Marcos engaged with key government and business leaders to promote sectors such as agribusiness, renewable energy, and halal development within the BIMP-EAGA and BARMM regions. He highlighted that the dialogues are expected to significantly boost bilateral trade and investment, market access, and technology sharing between the Philippines and Brunei. Meetings with top executives from major Bruneian oil and gas companies were also on the agenda, potentially deepening energy cooperation between the two countries.

Marcos' subsequent visit to Singapore included meetings with President Tharman Shanmugaratnam and Prime Minister Lawrence Wong. President Shanmugaratnam accepted an invitation to visit the Philippines in August, a visit that coincides with the 55th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two nations. Marcos noted the progress on three memoranda of understanding set to be finalized during the upcoming presidential visit.

The President also delivered a keynote address at the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, marking a historical moment as the first Philippine president to participate. He discussed the Indo-Pacific region's security landscape, emphasizing the Philippines' commitment to international law regarding maritime boundaries, contrasting the country’s approach to territorial disputes with those of other nations.

Additionally, bilateral discussions were held with Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonyte and members of the US Congressional Delegation, focusing on enhancing international relations and cooperation.

Marcos’ visits have set a significant diplomatic and economic groundwork, aiming for substantial contributions to the Philippines' stability and growth in the ASEAN region.

By admin