June 9, 2023
MANILA – President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Thursday met Singapore’s new ambassador and reaffirmed the Philippines’ strong trade and investment relations with the city-state, vowing further expansion.
In his speech after receiving the credentials of Ambassador Constance See Sin Yuan in Malacañang, the President said the Philippines shares a “deep-rooted history of collaboration and cooperation” in various areas of mutual interest.
He said that as cofounders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Philippines and Singapore are “partners in advancing key issues in regional and international forums, cognizant of the importance of maintaining Asean centrality amid the shifting winds of geopolitics and great power rivalries.”
See, in her remarks, said the state visits by the two nations’ leaders were key to strengthening their relations.
“I think the state visits gave a lot of momentum to our cooperation, including in emerging areas, like fintech (financial technology), sustainability and energy as well. So, we’re keen to move forward on all these,” the ambassador said.
“We are extremely happy at the state of our relationship and my brief stay here is really to continue to bolster the trade and investment as you mentioned, including in emerging areas and to look for other areas of cooperation. We want to be partners. We are invested in the Philippines,” she added.
Mr. Marcos said economic ties between the two countries are “robust,” noting that Singapore remains one of the Philippines’ most important trade and investment partners. In 2022, he added, total bilateral trade reached $13 billion.
Additionally, he said, Singapore was the Philippines’ largest source of approved investments amounting to $2.4 billion in 2022.
In terms of defense and security, the President noted the Philippines’ engagements with Singapore in combating terrorism and national crimes, which also have been further strengthened in the past years.
He recalled that the two countries recently signed two agreements concerning the Regional Counter-Terrorism Information Facility and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
The President said increasing people-to-people ties will also continue to strengthen “our bridges of understanding and friendship through cultural exchanges and capacity-building programs.”
Prior to her designation as ambassador, See headed the Southeast Asia directorate of Singapore’s foreign ministry. She also served as deputy trade representative and minister-counselor at the Singapore Trade Office in Taipei, Taiwan, and as first secretary of the Singaporean Embassy in Washington, DC.
The presentation of credentials by the Singaporean envoy was also attended by Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo, Assistant Secretary Aileen Mendiola-Rau, and Acting Director Charles Lawrence Ching.