Maritime cooperation reinforced; Aquino Social Contract hailed
Upon the invitation of the President of the Republic of the Philippines, H.E. Benigno S. Aquino III, the President of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, H.E. Truong Tan Sang paid a State Visit to the Republic of the Philippines on 26-27 October 2011 on the occasion of the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.
In a bid to strengthen bilateral ties, both leaders signed the Philippines-Viet Nam Action Plan for 2011 to 2016. The agreement encompasses measures to further boost cooperation in areas such as politics, foreign affairs, defense and security, economics, trade, investment, maritime and ocean concerns, education and training.
The two leaders also oversaw the signing of a Naval agreement on the establishment of a Hotline Communication between the Philippine Coast Guard and the Viet Nam Marine Police.
Another Naval memorandum of understanding seeks the enhancement of Mutual Cooperation and Information Sharing between the Philippine Navy and the Vietnamese People’s Navy.
Meanwhile, the two leaders exchanged information and views on issues relating to the West Philippine Sea/East Sea and reaffirmed the importance of the maintenance of peace, stability, maritime safety and security in the region. Both the Philippines and Viet Nam underlined the settlement of disputes through peaceful means on the basis of full respect for international law, particularly the 1982 UNCLOS.
Explaining the new agreements with Vietnam, Mr. Aquino said: “Maritime cooperation between the two countries has evolved to become one of the principal pillars of our bilateral relations. Thus, I welcome the elevation of our consultations on maritime and ocean concerns to the vice ministerial level.”
Another agreement signed was the Tourism Cooperation Plan for 2012-2015, which involves the conduct of joint tourism promotions, development of cultural tourism exchanges and exchanges in human resources and relevant tourism information.
The Vietnamese President also congratulated President Aquino for his administration’s progress in implementing his Social Contract with the Filipino People as well as his program of good governance.