Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (Photo: philstar.com)
 
Bangkok (VNA) – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte arrived in Bangkok on March 20, beginning his three – day official visit to Thailand, aiming to tighten bilateral ties.

This is the first visit to Thailand by Duterte since he took office in June 2016.

According to the Thai government’s spokesman, President Duterte is scheduled to have talks with Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha to discuss issues of mutual concern, including security and intelligence information sharing cooperation, anti-drug criminal and issues in Mandanao region.

The two leaders will also touch on solutions to promote trade and investment as well as the role of the Philippines for its ASEAN chairmanship in 2017.

They will witness the signing of memoranda of understanding on technology and science, tourism promotion and agriculture cooperation.

President Duterte is also expected to meet local businesses and Filipinos residing in Thailand.

Thailand and the Philippines set up diplomatic ties in June 1949.

The Philippines is Thailand’s fifth biggest trade partner in ASEAN. Two-way trade between the two countries was valued at over 8.3 billion USD in 2016, up 9.22 percent from 2015, of which Thailand’s exports hit 5.8 billion USD.-VNA