Marcos says it’s time for PH to explore stronger ties with Laos

Published December 5, 2022, 7:45 PM

by Betheena Unite

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. believes it is time to explore stronger relations between the Philippines and Laos, particularly in agriculture and people-to-people exchange.

Lao People’s Democratic Republic Ambassador to the Philippines Sonexay Vannaxay presents his credentials to President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. in Malacañang on Dec. 5, 2022. (Malacañang Photo)

Marcos stated this after Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) Ambassador to the Philippines Sonexay Vannaxay presented his credentials to the President in Malacañang on Monday, Dec. 5.

“It is time to explore our relationship between Lao PDR and the Philippines. I think it’s time to explore a stronger bilateral relationship. Since we are from the same region, there are many areas of which we have the same interests and the same difficulties, and the challenges we face,” the President said.

Marcos expressed his intention to collaborate with Laos on agriculture, which, he said, is the country’s top priority.

“Agriculture in the Philippines has become a very high priority for this government. And so if there is anything that we could collaborate and cooperate, it’s that,” he pointed out.

“We can start the agricultural exchanges in the exchange of technology, transfer of technology. And perhaps from there, we can do more,” Marcos also told the ambassador.

The chief executive also cited the great potential and a promising future for the Philippines and Lao PDR in terms of trade.

“We have already passed the trade levels during the pre-pandemic [period]. So we are doing more trade now than we were in 2019. So I think that’s a healthy sign that now we are back and we can continue to grow the trade relations. It seems natural because we are such close neighbors,” he said.

Vannaxay, on the other hand, sought the Philippines’ assistance in the health sector, particularly in the training of nursing professionals.

“I would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude to the Philippines for helping us in many areas… Help us in training the sectors of diplomat, as well as nursing and health areas,” Vannaxay said.

The Lao ambassador also lauded Manila and Vientiane’s “good relations in diplomatic and political affairs,” which was established over six decades ago.

“Our two countries have maintained good relations in diplomatic and political affairs, as well as supporting each other in regional and international fora,” he told Marcos.