- News in Photo
SINGAPORE – President Duterte has expressed confidence that the relationship between the Philippines and Singapore will elevate to greater heights as he embarked on a state visit here Thursday.
In a speech during the state banquet hosted by Singaporean President Tony Tan Keng Yam, Duterte said he came here “to renew and reaffirm the friendship and cooperation between the nations and its peoples.”
He called Singapore a “close partner and friend” and said he is looking forward to seeing “more facets of cooperation” to the two countries’ now multi-dimensional relations.
“We work closely on political issues, pursuing principled positions on the rule of law in the peaceful settlement of disputes. We reaffirm, respect independence, and the non-interference in the internal affairs of states,” Duterte said.
Duterte highlighted the two nations’ commitment to make the Association of Southeast Asian Nations region and beyond “safe and secure from traditional, emerging transnational threats.”
“We are championing diversity and making sure that dialogue between religions and faiths form the bedrock of a peaceful society. We are advancing growth by further intensifying two-way trade and commerce. We are expanding the opportunities for investments to flourish in both our countries,” he said. “Indeed, we have done much and we can do more,” Duterte continued.
Duterte said two-way trade and commerce will be further intensified to improve growth. He added that opportunities are being broadened so both countries can attract increased investments.
The Chief Executive noted that the presence of 180,000 Filipinos is a testimony of an enduring relationship between the Philippines and Singapore. “I say tonight we can and should look forward to a future of greater mutually beneficial collaboration. This is a future we can start, chart together, and aim to achieve. This is how friends should be,” he said. (Elena L. Aben)