VIENTIANE, Laos — The Philippines is ready to strengthen its economic ties with Laos, which hosts about 1,500 Filipino migrant workers.
The Philippines’ economic partnership with Laos was one of the matters tackled during President Rodrigo Duterte’s bilateral meeting with Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) conference last Tuesday here.
“Both Leaders discussed the overall bilateral relations. They expressed their intent to work closely to enhance the relations including in the areas of education and trade and investments,” a Malacañang statement released Thursday read.
“The president expressed his interest to send a trade and investment delegation to Laos to look into business opportunities.”
Sisoulith told Duterte he is optimistic that the Philippines would successfully host next year’s ASEAN meet.
“The Prime Minister stressed that the President’s visit in Laos during the (ASEAN) summit is of great significance. He thanked the president, on behalf of the Lao government, for the Philippine government and people’s assistance and support to Laos,” Malacañang said.
Sisoulith also congratulated Duterte for winning the elections and wished him and the Filipinos success and prosperity. Duterte, for his part, thanked Sisoulith for hosting the Filipinos in Laos, the host of this year’s ASEAN summit.
The bilateral relations between the Philippines and Laos started in 1955. In 2008, the countries signed a memorandum of understanding establishing the Philippines-Laos Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation. The commission seeks to facilitate consultations and cooperation in various fields like economics, health, education, agriculture, forestry and environment.
Two agreements on basic and higher education cooperation have been finalized and are ready for signing
Laos ranked as the Philippines’ 122nd trading partner in the first quarter. Total bilateral trade between the two countries amounted to $488,082 data from the trade department showed.
Source: Phil Star Global