President Duterte KL trip expected to strengthen Philippine-Malaysia ties, 07 Nov. 2016

President Rodrigo Duterte will leave for Malaysia Wednesday, Nov. 9 for a two-day official visit, which is expected to deepen relations between the two Southeast Asian neighbors.

In a media briefing in Malacanan Monday, Nov. 7 Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose said the President will travel to Malaysia on November 9 and 10 as part of his introductory visits to countries in the Southeast Asian region.

The President is expected to hold bilateral talks with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak in Kuala Lumpur. During the bilateral meeting, the two leaders could discuss economic and security cooperation, including Malaysia’s role in the GPH-MILF peace process, Jose said.

Other agenda could also include security issues such as counter-terrorism, as well as Philippine chairmanship of ASEAN in 2017. It is also expected that the President will meet the Filipino community in Malaysia.

“The Philippines looks upon Malaysia both as a brother nation and as a dependable partner, not only bilaterally but also within the larger context of the BIMP-EAGA and our beloved ASEAN Community,” according to Jose.

The two countries are both founding members of ASEAN and share a commitment to uphold ASEAN values in the region. Malaysia is the Philippines’ 10th largest trading partner in 2015 and is the second largest investor among all ASEAN countries in the Philippines.

Malaysia also played a constructive role in helping bring peace and stability to Southern Philippines and the two countries have been working closely to confront transnational concerns. PND