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MANILA, Philippines – Vietnamese National Assembly President Vuong Dinh Hue completed a three-day official visit to Manila on Friday, November 25, a first for the Philippines in over five years.
Vuong, who is one of the top four leaders of the Southeast Asian country, sought to foster “political trust” among its lawmakers and deepen bilateral cooperation in labor, economy, agriculture, and education.
Vuong was the first senior Vietnamese official to visit the Marcos government. His visit was also the first by a National Assembly president to the Philippines in 16 years.
“This will certainly be one of the memorable milestones of Vietnam-Philippines relations in general, as well as the history of parliamentary cooperation between the two countries in particular,” Vietnamese Ambassador to the Philippines Hoang Huy Chung said.
During his visit, Vuong met with both Vice President Sara Duterte and President Ferdinand Marcos Jr, as well as leaders of the Philippine Congress.
Both the Senate and House of Representatives passed separate resolutions seeking to strengthen ties between the two countries, with the House establishing the “Philippines-Vietnam Friendship Parliamentary Group.”
In a meeting with Marcos, Vuong and the Philippine leader also discussed trade and agriculture, including the importation of rice from Vietnam. Vietnam has been the country’s top source of rice since 2019, when the Philippines liberalized rice importation and trade.
“Currently, in the context that the Russia-Ukraine conflict continues to affect global supply chains, increase inflation in many countries around the world and directly threaten the food security of many countries, the cooperation on rice trade between the two countries is more strategic,” Hoang said.
Before leaving the country, Vuong likewise pushed for more interaction between Philippine and Vietnamese officials, as well as exchanges among its citizens.
“We are hopeful that we can do more to enhance the relationships between our political parties and government-to-government and parliament-to-parliament relationships, and most importantly, the people-to-people exchanges,” he said. – Rappler.com