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Published: 01 June,2024 | Updated: 01 June,2024
PH-Singapore agree to strengthen, explore new partnerships to adapt to the changing world

Singapore, May 31(AseanAll)  — Philippine President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and Singapore Prime Minister Lawrence Wong agreed on May 31, 2024 to strengthen the bilateral relations of their countries and explore new partnerships to adapt to the changing world, according to the Presidential Communications Office of the Philippines.

Photo source: the Presidential Communications Office of the Philippines 

During a bilateral meeting with Wong in The Istana in Singapore, Marcos said he looks forward to continuing such strong ties with the Southeast Asian neighbor although there’s already a great deal that the two nations are doing in many areas.

“I look forward to continuing [the relationship]. I’m confident… although there’s already a [great deal] that we’re doing in many areas,” Marcos told Wong.

“We have really laid down for the last [five] years [the] formal and official relationship but as in all other ASEAN member — for Asian countries in general and I think that is why [it’s] easy for us to work together to make partnership,” Marcos stated.

The President also recognized Singapore as one of the top sources of foreign direct investment (FDI) into the Philippines, saying he was glad that the Singapore leader mentioned New Clark City, a part of Luzon corridor, is gaining recognition among investors.

He told Wong that the Philippine government eyes to develop the area as an industrial center with all the different facilities such manufacturing, semiconductor assembly, businesses, and green minerals processing, in which Singaporean investors could participate.

Also, according to the President, there is great potential in the two countries’ tourism industries, which could further be boosted by much improved infrastructure and enhanced air linkages.

For his part, Lawrence Wong said there is very strong cooperation and positive momentum in the relationship between the two countries.

“There is also a strong positive momentum in our relationship [in] businesses, and there’s growing confidence in the prospects on the [Philippine] economy,” he said.

“So, many different projects are taking place, including in New Clark City and others, and I’m sure there are interests amongst investors and businesses to invest in your country,” he noted.

Lawrence Wong also mentioned the good people-to-people exchanges, with more than 200,000 Filipinos working and staying in Singapore.

Wong made a commitment protect and ensure their health and well-being of the Filipino workers and also appreciated their contributions to the Singapore economy.

Lawrence Wong, 51, assumed office last May 15, marking the third handover of leadership in the country’s 59-year history. He replaced Lee Hsien Loong, who led the country for 20 years.

The Philippines and Singapore established diplomatic relations on May 16, 1969. In 2019, the two countries celebrated the 50th anniversary or Golden Jubilee of their diplomatic ties, which was highlighted by the state visit to the Philippines of Singapore President Halimah Yacob on September 9-12, 2019.

The Philippines and Singapore are both founding members of ASEAN formed in 1967 and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in 1989.

Upon the invitation of then Singapore President Halimah, Marcos undertook his State Visit to Singapore on September 6-7, 2022 immediately after his State Visit to Indonesia on September 4-6, 2022.

Marcos returned to Singapore to deliver the keynote remarks at the opening of the 21st IISS Shangri-La Dialogue.

Last year, Singapore was the Philippines’ 8th largest trading partner, 6th export market (out of 205), and 7th import supplier (out of 221). In the same period, exports and imports were valued at USD 3.53 billion and USD 7.09 billion, respectively.

The Philippines recorded a trade deficit of US$3.57 billion.

On the other hand, Singapore was the country’s largest source of approved investments, posting US$1.628 billion in 2021 and US$2.398 billion in 2022.

Based on preliminary figures in 2023, Singapore ranked as the fourth source of approved investments amounting to US$674.40 million.