President Duterte slated for Cambodia, Singapore swing, 10 Dec. 2016

President Rodrigo Duterte is undertaking state visits to Cambodia and Singapore next week which was confirmed by Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Charles Jose in a predeparture briefing in Malacanan.

“President Rodrigo Duterte will undertake a state visit to the Kingdom of Cambodia on December 13 and 14, 2016 upon the invitation of His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni, and to Singapore on December 15 and 16, 2016 upon the invitation of His Excellency Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong,” Jose said on Friday, Dec. 9.

Both trips form part of a series of the President’s introductory visits to neighboring Asian countries.

“During his visit to Cambodia, the President will have a royal audience with His Majesty, King Norodom Sihamoni at the Royal Palace followed by a State Banquet,” Jose said.

The President and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen are scheduled to hold a bilateral meeting, where they are expected to discuss issues of mutual concern, including defense and security relations, bilateral trade, protection of Filipino-Cambodian migrant workers, and cultural and tourism cooperation, among others.

The two leaders are also expected to talk about the Philippines’ ASEAN chairmanship in 2017, which will coincide with the 60th anniversary of the establishment of Philippines-Cambodia diplomatic relations.

Diplomatic relations between the two countries were formally established in August 1957.

The President is also scheduled to meet with the more than 5,000 Filipinos living and working in Cambodia before flying to Singapore.

During his State Visit to Singapore, President Duterte will hold bilateral talks with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. The President will also be feted at the State Banquet hosted by Singapore President Tony Tan Keng Yam and meet with the members of the Filipino community.

President Duterte and Prime Minister Lee are expected to discuss ways to further increase the levels of two-way trade and investments, strengthen defense and security cooperation, including counter-terrorism and war on drugs, the welfare of Filipinos living and working in Singapore, and the Philippines’ chairmanship of ASEAN in 2017.

The Philippines and Singapore established diplomatic relations in 1969. The two countries have enjoyed close relations, both bilaterally and within the context of the larger ASEAN Community.

In 2015, Singapore was the Philippines fourth largest trading partner with bilateral trade amounting to approximately 8.8 billion US dollars.

Moreover, there are an estimated 180,000 Filipinos residing and working in Singapore.

“The visit underscores the two countries’ commitment to deeper and more meaningful bilateral and regional relations,” Jose said.###PND