A congress was held in Hanoi on October 29 to establish the Vietnam-Philippines Friendship Association (VNPFA), the 111th member of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO).

The congress also elected a 29-member executive board led by Deputy Minister of Agricultural and Rural Development Vu Van Tam.

Speaking at the event, VUFO President Vu Xuan Hong stressed that the Vietnamese Party and State attach importance to strengthening the friendship and cooperation with Southeast Asian nations, including the Philippines.

The establishment of VNPFA marks a new development in the friendship, cooperation and people-to-people exchange between the two countries, he said.

Philippine Ambassador to Vietnam Jerril G. Santos said that bilateral cooperation, especially in economy and education, has developed fruitfully in recent years, with increasing numbers of Vietnamese studying and working in the Philippines and vice verse. Together with the launch of the Philippines-Vietnam Friendship Association in July 2014, the VNPFA is expected to bring the two countries’ relationship forward, he added.-VNA