PM meets Philippine President on ASEAN Summit sidelines hinh anh 1Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc met Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in Singapore on April 27 on the sidelines of the 32nd ASEAN Summit. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc met Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in Singapore on April 27 on the sidelines of the 32nd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit.

At their meeting, the two leaders expressed their delight at fruitful strategic partnership between Vietnam and the Philippines as reflected through frequent meetings and exchanges, especially in security and defence, and improved economic-trade ties. Bilateral trade surpassed 4 billion USD in 2017, an annual increase of 25 percent, with rice trade bringing about practical mutual benefits.

Phuc suggested both sides continue their exchange of high-ranking delegations, and actively implement cooperation mechanisms, particularly in oil spill response, search & rescue at sea, sustainable marine management, fisheries and anti-terrorism.

Duterte stressed the Philippines values the friendship and collaboration it shares with Vietnam, and is willing to work with Vietnam in sectors that the two nations can supplement each other.

He thanked the Vietnamese Government for creating conditions for Philippine citizens to live and do business in the country.

Lauding the quality of Vietnamese rice, the President said he wants further bilateral cooperation in rice trade and Vietnam to be a stable and long-time rice supplier for the Philippines.

The two leaders discussed regional and international affairs of common concern, including collaboration within ASEAN, the East Sea issue, and fight against marine crime. PM Phuc took the occasion to congratulate the Philippines on its successful ASEAN chairmanship in 2017.

Concerning the East Sea issue, both sides highlighted the importance of maintaining peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation and overflight in the waters. They affirmed that disputes ought to be peacefully resolved in line with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

They said they support the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of the Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and early conclusion of an effective and legally-binding Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) between ASEAN and China.-VNA