MANILA, Philippines — The Republic of the Philippines and Brunei Darussalam issued a joint statement following the state visit of Prime Minister Hassanal Bolkiah to Manila.
Bolkiah is also in the country to attend the 30th Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit at the Philippine International Convention Center on Saturday.
Read the full statement below.
1. At the invitation of the President of the Republic of the Philippines Rodrigo Roa Duterte, His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, conducted a State Visit to the Philippines on 27 April 2017.
2. In recalling the full establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in January 1984, the Leaders affirmed the steady growth of the friendship of the Philippines and Brunei Darussalam over the past three decades and of the cooperation in ASEAN, which is commemorating its 50th Anniversary this year. To sow the seeds of a shared future, both sides recognized the potential for deepening bilateral relations with an expanded agenda, through sustained dialogue and exchanges at all levels and across different sectors of government and civil society.
3. Both Leaders welcomed the increased interactions at all levels and agreed to strengthen the existing bilateral consultative mechanisms. In this regard, both Leaders agreed to the early convening of the 3rd Joint Commission for Bilateral Commission (JCBC) Meeting to further deepen and expand cooperation between both countries.
4. During the bilateral meeting, the Leaders noted the two countries’ heightened political engagements as evidenced by the frequent exchanges of high-level officials and active cooperation between their defense and military establishments. President Duterte also underscored his commitment to the Mindanao Peace Processes and expressed his gratitude for Brunei Darussalam’s important role in the Government of the Philippines – Moro Islamic Liberation Front (GPH-MILF) peace process, particularly in the International Monitoring Team (IMT) mechanism.
5. President Duterte also emphasized his Administration’s campaign against illicit drugs and called for increased collaboration among ASEAN partners in addressing this scourge, in line with the regional theme of “Securing ASEAN Communities Against Illicit Drugs”. His Majesty expressed satisfaction that both countries have worked together in addressing this issue through ASEAN and welcomed further efforts in strengthening cooperation in this area.
6. The Leaders discussed ways to strengthen and deepen bilateral trade and economic relations and reiterated commitment to explore further opportunities including greater business exchanges and cooperation. In this regard, the Leaders welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Energy and Industry Department at the Prime Minister’s Office, Brunei Darussalam and the Department of Trade and Industry, Republic of the Philippines on Halal Industry and Halal Export Development and Promotion to explore opportunities in the emerging global market for halal products and services.
7. The Leaders expressed satisfaction with the energy cooperation between Brunei National Petroleum Company Sendirian Berhad (Petroleum BRUNEI) and Philippines National Oil Company (PNOC). His Majesty welcomed both sides to identify potential areas of collaboration in downstream and upstream activities for the mutual benefit of the two countries.
8. His Majesty expressed appreciation for the contributions of 23,000 Filipino nationals in the socio-economic development of Brunei Darussalam. President Duterte also cited the vital contribution of overseas Filipino workers to the Philippines economy.
9. The Leaders welcomed the signing of the Agreement between the Government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines on Cultural Cooperation. The Agreement aims to enhance institutional networking and people-to-people exchanges in the field of culture and arts. It encourages the exchanges of visits, training, closer relations among cultural institutions, exchanges of materials, protection of cultural heritage, and exchanges of artists.
10. His Majesty expressed Brunei Darussalam’s support and full cooperation for the Philippines’ Chairmanship of ASEAN, which will also coincide with the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of ASEAN, and wished the Government and people of the Republic of the Philippines the very best in their preparations. Both sides looked forward to the celebrations for ASEAN’s 50th Anniversary and to productive ASEAN meetings throughout 2017. The Leaders noted ASEAN’s achievements over the past fifty years, emerging as an important regional association, and underscored their commitment to work closely with other ASEAN Member States in advancing ASEAN’s community building process and upholding peace, stability and prosperity in the region.
11. The Leaders emphasized the importance of the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and welcomed the progress in the consultations on the Framework of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea
12. The Leaders emphasized their commitment to the development of the BIMP-EAGA to further promote sustainable and inclusive growth as well as fostering stronger people-to-people linkages in the sub-region. They stressed that complementation initiatives in the sub-region act as building block towards the realization of the ASEAN Vision 2025.
13. The Leaders reiterated the importance of strengthening cooperation in the sectors of labor, food security, agriculture, education, and finance, and expressed the hope for both sides to finalize documents in these matters to further enhance bilateral relations between both countries.
14. His Majesty expressed his deep gratitude to President Duterte for the warm welcome accorded to him and the Brunei Darussalam delegation.