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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Laos, Philippines Discuss Direct Flights to Boost Trade, Investment, Tourism

This Week

Foreign Ministers of Laos and the Philippines discussed the possibility of starting direct flights between the two countries to boost trade, investment, and tourism during the 2nd Philippines-Laos Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC), held from August 3 to 4 in Vientiane Capital.

During the meeting, Lao Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Saleumxay Kommasith and the Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo also addressed existing collaboration in areas of security and defense, health, gender, and women’s development, as well as trade and investment.

The two leaders expressed confidence that the close ties between the two countries will be further strengthened through new areas of collaboration, such as renewable energy, technology and communication, tourism, education and sports, and disaster management.

As they reviewed bilateral relations between Manila and Vientiane, Secretary Manalo assured Mr. Saleumxay that the Philippines would support Laos’ chairmanship of ASEAN in 2024, the Manila Times reported.

Additionally, both sides affirmed the centrality of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) in addressing the various issues and challenges that it faces.

During his time in Vientiane, Secretary Manalo also met with leaders of the Filipino community in Laos. There are about 2,000 Filipinos living in the country, a majority of whom work in the education and hospitality sectors.

Laos and the Philippines established diplomatic relations in 1955, making the Philippines the second country in Asia after Thailand and the fourth country in the world after Thailand, Australia, and France to recognize Laos as an independent nation. The two countries will mark the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations in 2025.

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