MANILA, Philippines – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and French President Emmanuel Macron have reaffirmed their intention to expand bilateral cooperation in agriculture, energy, and defense.
The plan to strengthen ties between the two countries was pitched on Friday during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the 29th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand.
“I’m confident that it will be a strong partnership,” she says “Marcos stated this following his bilateral meeting with Macron, according to a news release issued by the Office of the Press Secretary on Saturday.
“So these are the three basic areas in which partnerships could be explored,” he added.
Marcos stated that he wants to explore a partnership in the energy sector because of France’s “extensive” experience, citing the fact that nuclear energy accounts for 67 percent of its power production.
He stated that he had a “very extensive and quite productive” meeting with Macron, during which they discussed several regional issues as well as “our concerns for the future.”
“He (Macron) was also gracious enough to extend an invitation to me to visit France when the time comes.” “Marcos went on to say that he accepted Macron’s invitation.
The first in-person meeting between Marcos and Macron took place two months after the two spoke on the phone.
During a phone call in September, the two leaders agreed to strengthen bilateral relations and collaboration in low-carbon energy, food security, and defense.
France and the Philippines established diplomatic relations in 1947, when both countries signed the Treaty of Amity in Paris.
Following former French President François Hollande’s historic state visit to the Philippines in 2015, the two countries’ relations became more focused on ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific region and upholding international law; pursuing joint action to combat climate change; and promoting cultural exchanges between their people.
Both Marcos and Macron attended the 29th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM), with Macron being invited as a guest to the informal dialogue with Asia-Pacific leaders.
Macron was invited as a guest to this year’s APEC summit, as was Saudi Prime Minister and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud.
The informal dialogue between APEC economic leaders and guests and business leaders provides a platform for the promotion of sustainable trade and investment in the face of Asia-Pacific economic challenges.
Marcos raised several points during his informal dialogue intervention, including economic resilience, pandemic recovery, and digitalization, noting that “governments are responsible for providing their people with the necessary support for recovery, growth, and development.”
He emphasized the importance of a “free, fair, and non-discriminatory” trade and investment environment, as well as “safety measures” that would aid in the stabilization of the flow of essential goods and services during times of crisis.
Marcos also sought to address regional trade and investment issues, as well as identify mutually beneficial opportunities with APEC partners and stakeholders.
Source: PNA News