Philippine, Singapore ink eight cooperation agreements
The Philippines and Singapore signed on Monday eight cooperation agreements that would further boost the bilateral relations of the two countries.
President Rodrigo Duterte and visiting Singaporean President Halimah Yakob witnessed the inking of the memoranda of understanding on education, agri-trade, skills development and training, infrastructure, water resource management, arts and culture, and data protection enforcement, among others.
"We talked about deepening our cooperation in defense and security, which includes strengthening defense dialogues and training exchanges between the military and special forces," Duterte said in the joint press statement after his bilateral meeting with the Singaporean leader in Malacanang.
He said the signing of the agreements between the two countries was the first of their "eager steps toward the next half-century of our natural, mutually reinforcing and beneficial partnership."
The two Southeast Asian countries celebrate the 50th year of their diplomatic relations this year.
Yakob, in the joint press statement, said she and Duterte agreed that the two nations could do even more together.
"There is room to further boost trade and investment flows," he said.
She expressed hope in making progress on updating the Singapore-Philippine Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement, which would increase connectivity and create more opportunities for collaboration and growth.
The 14th Philippines-Singapore Business Council Meeting to be held on Tuesday is another valuable platform for business leaders from both sides to connect, exchange and strengthen economic links, she added.
Yakob arrived in Manila on Sunday afternoon for a five-day state visit.
Prior to the bilateral talks, Duterte was supposed to lead the welcome ceremony at the Kalayaan Grounds in Malacanang. Because it rained, the ceremony was moved at the Malacanang Reception Hall.
Elementary students from two public schools in Manila who lined up along J.P. Laurel Street in Malacanang Complex to welcome the visiting Singaporean leader became wet due to rain. Celerina Monte/DMS