(Eagle News) – After a “very productive” state visit in Indonesia, Philippine President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos flew to Singapore on Tuesday, September 6, where he is set to meet with the President and Prime Minister of Singapore, as well as with the Filipino community there.
Singapore is home to 200,000 Filipinos, most of which are professionals in their field.
President Marcos Jr., First Lady Liza Marcos, son Ilocos Norte Rep. Sandro Marcos, and other members of the cabinet and the presidential delegation arrived in Singapore at 12:45 pm on Tuesday, Sept. 6, according to information from the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson.
The President said that the state visit to Indonesia and Singapore signifies the importance his government places on the country’s neighbors in the ASEAN region.
The Philippine leader went to Singapore upon the invitation of Singapore’s President Halimah Yacob. The state visit will be until Wednesday, Sept. 7.
“Singapore is home to 200,000 Filipinos and as ever they make us proud for their contribution to the economies of Singapore and the Philippines,” Marcos said during his departure speech in Manila on Sept. 4 for the two state visits.
“I shall meet both President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to renew our commitment to deepen bilateral relations, explore options for advancing our economic ties, as well as discuss regional and global issues. Prime Minister Lee and I will also witness the signing of several agreements,” President Marcos Jr. said.
-Top trading partner in the ASEAN region-
He described Singapore as the Philippines’ “top trading partner in ASEAN and the top source of approved investments in 2021.”
“Our economic cooperation with Singapore has grown by leaps and bounds for the past half-century, and more opportunities are just waiting to be tapped by both sides,” he said in an earlier departure speech.
“My State Visits to our ASEAN neighbors will seek to harness the potentials of our vibrant trade and investment relations,” he said.
Marcos will be attending an economic briefing, business forums and meetings that “have been organized to proactively create and attract more investments and buyers for our exports, in order to accelerate the post-pandemic growth of our economy.”
-Deals on counter-terrorism, data privacy, trade and business-
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said that President Marcos Jr., will discuss with the Singaporean leaders “the close bilateral relations between the two countries as well as regional and global issues”
“President Marcos, Jr. and Prime Minister Lee will also witness the signing of agreements in the areas of counter-terrorism and data privacy,”
“An economic briefing and business roundtable meetings will be organized where the President intends to invite investments into the Philippines and create more job opportunities in the country,” according to DFA spokesperson Maria Theresa Daza.
As in Indonesia, President Marcos Jr., will also meet with the Filipino community in Singapore “to personally assure them of the government’s continuing commitment to protect their rights and promote their welfare as overseas Filipinos.”
-“Harvest of business deals” expected, says Marcos-
“I expect that we will be coming back with a harvest of business deals to be signed in my State Visits that will further strengthen our economic ties with both Indonesia and Singapore,” the Philippine leader said in an earlier departure speech.
Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles described the state visit in Indonesia as “very productive.”
“It was very productive, extremely so because the President did not expect that the talks between him and President (Joko) Widodo would progress so rapidly in such a short time,” she said in a press briefing,
Marcos Jr and Widodo signed various agreements on border security, defense, trade, agriculture, energy, business, cultural cooperation, and regional cooperation. They also discussed various issues related to the ASEAN bloc.
The Philippine president noted how very warmly the Philippine delegation was received in Indonesia, and the fast progress of their discussions.
“So much so that in actual fact, our discussions progressed so rapidly that we, the President and I, have agreed to organize task forces already to meet and discuss even at a technical level, no longer at the political or the diplomatic level, but at a technical level, so as to be able to take a full advantage of the opportunities that we feel that are available to us and that we will need to exploit to succeed in the near future,” Marcos said.
(Eagle News Service)