PH, Malaysia agree to strengthen security, trade ties on halal, agri, digital economy
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim agreed to boost security, trade and investment exchanges in a historic bilateral meeting in Malacanang on Wednesday.
"Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim and I had a cordial and productive discussion on Philippines-Malaysia bilateral cooperation, reaffirming our two countries’ desire to revitalize relations as we traverse past the pandemic then through the years towards a new normal," Marcos said in a press statement at the President's Hall in Malacanan Palace.
With the ongoing impacts of the pandemic and geopolitical upheavals challenging the Philippines’ and Malaysia’s economies and the prospects of a global recovery, the two leaders agreed to "reinvigorate trade and investment exchanges, with a special focus on the halal industry, agriculture and food security, and the digital economy.”
Marcos said the two countries, as immediate neighbors, recognize the importance of maintaining peace and security in the region.
"As such, we agreed to continue our cooperation on political and security matters, rekindling the Joint Commission Meetings and joint initiatives to combat transnational crime and terrorism," Marcos said.
Marcos also mentioned in his statement that the two countries' shared historic roots are deep, and the Philippines and Malaysia's cultures enjoy natural affinity.
"As such, we spoke of further deepening our people-to-people ties through continued cultural exchanges and tourism," Marcos said, adding that he acknowledged the role of the Filipino diaspora in Malaysia and their contribution to both our economies.
Marcos said the Philippines and Malaysia, as founding members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA), have ASEAN Centrality embedded in their regional outlook.
"We have thus resolved to support development and peace-building initiatives within this group, including the importance of achieving a resolution to the situation in Myanmar," the President said.
Marcos said they commended the progress made towards achieving sustainable and inclusive peace in Mindanao.
The chief executive said it is the culmination of years of effort and sincerity among all parties, which will soon realize the dividends of peace.
“We have recognized the great contribution that Malaysia has made to the peace process in southern Philippines. And we hope that this support that they have shown over the past few years will continue and will continue to contribute to the success of the peace process and the establishment of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region,” the President said.
Marcos said he invited Malaysia to continue supporting the Philippine government's efforts to bring development and enhancement to the livelihood of Mindanaoans.
In his statement, the President also expressed gratitude to Prime Minister Anwar "for coming to the Philippines, the first Head of Government I have had the pleasure of receiving during my administration."
"Your visit is a testament to our enduring friendship as ASEAN brothers, who share the same vision of prosperity and of peace," the President said.
Marcos congratulated then-newly sworn-in Anwar in a telephone call last November and expressed hopes to work with the new Malaysian leader, particularly as the Southeast Asian region tackles various challenges. Presidential News Desk