Manila: Philippine President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos left for Indonesia on Sunday, his first overseas trip since he assumed office on June 30.
After a three-day state visit to Indonesia, Marcos will also visit Singapore from September 6 to 7, Xinhua news agency reported.
“My state visits to our ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) neighbours will seek to harness the potentials of our vibrant trade and investment relations,” Marcos said shortly before departing for Jakarta.
“Business forums and meetings have been organised to proactively create and attract more investments and buyers for our exports to accelerate the post-pandemic growth of our economy,” he added.
In Jakarta, Marcos said he will discuss with Indonesian President Joko Widodo “the current state and the future as we see it of the bilateral relationship between the Philippines and Indonesia, and the changing global geopolitical environment”.
Marcos said that Indonesia has been the Philippines’ ally and one of the Philippines’ closest bilateral partners for decades.
He and Widodo will witness the signing of several agreements covering important areas of cooperation, Marcos said.
Beyond that, he will also “seek our friends’ partnership and help in Indonesia for investment in the areas we see that can be of assistance, especially in the critical areas we have identified in agriculture and energy,” he said.
After his stay in Indonesia, Marcos will proceed to Singapore for a state visit.
Marcos said he will have separate meetings with Singaporean President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong “to renew our commitment to deepen bilateral relations, explore options for advancing economic ties as well as discuss regional and global issues.”
Marcos said he and Lee will also witness the signing of several agreements in the areas of counter-terrorism and data privacy.
Singapore has become 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,” Marcos added.
Marcos said he expects a harvest of business deals to be signed during his state visits to Indonesia and Singapore.