President Truong Tan Sang at the airport (Source: VNA)
Manila (VNA) - President Truong Tan Sang has expressed his hope that Philippine legislators will make more active contributions to the bilateral friendship and strategic partnership.

He delivered the idea to Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines Feliciano Belmonte during their meeting on November 17 on the sidelines of the 23rd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Manila.

President Truong Tan Sang said the signing of a joint statement on establishing strategic partnership following his talks with Filipino President on the same day has created a new impetus to strengthen trust and ties between the two countries for the sake of regional peace, prosperity and stability.

As the two countries will celebrate the 40 th anniversary of diplomatic ties in 2016, he suggested increasing exchanges of delegations and high-level meetings while holding cultural and people-to-people exchanges to raise mutual understanding between the two peoples.

Vietnam continually backs investment in fields of strengths, including consumer goods, food processing, services, industrial manufacturing and fashion, he said.

Hailing national defence-security ties as a significant and strategic pillar in bilateral relationship, the Vietnamese leader said he welcomes Philippine Defence Minister’s visit to Vietnam in 2016 and the Philippine Government’s settlement of illegal fishing in a friendly and humanitarian spirit.

On the recent complicated developments in the East Sea, including the massive-scale land reclamation that has changed the status quo, escalated disputes and tension, and threatened peace and stability in the region, the President pressed for information sharing and coordinated the respective country’s stance on the issue.

Belmonte, for his part, said the Vietnam-Philippines ties have been strengthened since the 1990s, particularly in economics, adding that the Philippines is impressed by Vietnam’s achievements in attracting foreign direct investment and will fine-tune policies based on lessons learnt from Vietnam.

Vietnam and the Philippines share many similarities, with the geographical proximity regarded as an advantage to foster all-round links, he stated.

Meeting President of the Philippines-Vietnam Friendship Association Eddie Harde the same day, President Truong Tan Sang lauded the birth of the association in 2014 as a progress of friendship and solidarity between the two peoples since the establishment of their diplomatic ties 40 years ago.

Two-way trade last year neared 3 billion USD, with the Philippines ranking 31 st out of 101 countries and territories investing in Vietnam, he added.

Harde, for his part, informed the leader that the association is embarking on people-to-people diplomacy projects and expressed his wish that people-to-people exchanges will pay the way for stronger across-the-board connections.-VNA