Philippines, Singapore reinforce defence, economic relations hinh anh 1Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (R) and his Singaporean counterpart Halimah Yacob (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) –
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and his Singaporean counterpart Halimah Yacob have discussed measures to strengthen defence and security cooperation, and boost trade and investment flows.

The two leaders talked ways to promote defence dialogues and training exchanges between military and special forces, Duterte told the press after their meeting in Manila on September 9.

They were committed to intensifying trade and investment links as well as paying attention to the goals that they have set under the Philippines-Singapore Action Plan.

Duterte also expressed his hope to cooperate with Singapore in agriculture, education-training, science-technology, tourism and cultural exchanges, while Halimah said the bilateral economic ties are strong and robust. However, the two sides still can do even more together to further boost trade and investment flows.

The Singaporean President arrived in Manila on September 8 in a five-day state visit to the Philippines on the occasion of the 50th founding anniversary of diplomatic ties.

During the visit, the two leaders witnessed the signing of eight Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in infrastructure development, sustainable agriculture solutions, skills training and education in preparation for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, agri-trade, arts and culture, and data protection.

Singapore was the Philippines' second largest source of investment in 2018, committing a total of 21.18 billion pesos (around 407.3 million USD), or 11.8 percent of the Philippines' total foreign investment.

Singapore is also the Philippines’ seventh largest trading partner with two-way trade at 10.49 billion USD. There are more than 200,000 Filipinos living, working and studying in Singapore.-VNA