Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (Photo: AFP/VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on September 28 started his two-day official visit to Vietnam at the invitation of President Tran Dai Quang.

This is the first visit to Vietnam and the fourth overseas trip by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte since he took office on June 30 this year.

During the visit, the two countries’ leaders will discuss measures to promote the strategic partnership in the time ahead, especially in politics, security, defence, economy and trade. They will also compare notes on regional and international issues of shared concerns.

Vietnam and the Philippines set up diplomatic ties in July 1976. They signed a bilateral cooperation framework for the first 25 years of the 21st century and beyond in November 2002, an action programme for 2011-2016 to implement the bilateral cooperative relations in various fields in October 2011.

In November 2015, the two countries’ foreign ministers signed a Joint Statement to establish the bilateral strategic partnership, ushering in a new era for bilateral cooperation.

Two-way trade has been growing in recent years, which topped 2.92 billion USD in 2015 and 1.72 billion USD in the first seven months of 2016 (a year-on-year rise of 17 percent against the same period last year).

Since 2008, Vietnam has recorded an annual trade surplus of over 1 billion USD to the Philippines, mainly from exporting rice, electronic spare parts, and farm produce.

As of 2015, the Philippines ran 73 investment projects worth some 303 million USD in Vietnam, ranking 31st out of the 101 countries and territories investing in Vietnam. So far, Vietnam has only two projects in the Philippines.

Sea and ocean cooperation is one of the key pillars in the bilateral relations with the establishment of the Joint Committee on Sea and Ocean Cooperation at deputy foreign ministerial level.

Other collaborative fields such as agriculture, education, and tourism have also seen positive developments.

The two countries established a Fishery Cooperation Committee in 2011.

Additionally, both countries have reached a number of collaboration documents such as the agreement on trade cooperation in 1978; the agreement on investment protection and encouragement in 1992; the agreement on establishing the Joint Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation in 1992; the agreement on defence cooperation in 2010; and the agreement on rice trade cooperation for 2010-2013 and 2014-2016.-VNA