MANILA – President-elect Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Monday received ambassadors from Singapore, United Kingdom, France, and European Union during separate courtesy calls at BBM headquarters in Mandaluyong City.
First to visit Marcos was Gerard Ho, Singapore Ambassador to the Philippines at around 9 a.m. followed shortly by Ambassador Laure Beaufils of the United Kingdom.
At around 11 a.m. European Union Ambassador Luc Vèron also paid a visit followed by Ambassador Michelle Boccoz of France who arrived at about 12 noon.
During their private meetings, the envoys vowed to strengthen the ties in trade and diplomacy, as well as their common interests in democracy, self-determination, and economic recovery.
Ho faced the media following his meeting with Marcos to discuss his short meeting with the new president.
“As you know, Singapore and Philippines are friends and close partners. (Our) countries are both founding members of Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and successive generations of Singaporean and Philippine leaders have worked together for the peace and prosperity of the region,” Ho said in his opening statement to the media.
“In fact, during our conversation earlier with president-elect, we talked about all the conversations our founding father Mr. Lee and his father Mr. Ferdinand Marcos had talked about when we were discussing developments in the region and working together on it,” Ho added.
Ho also discussed the economic reforms between the two Asian countries.
“I think with the resumption of cross-border travel, as well as the passage of a lot of significant economic reforms in the PH, we are hopeful that we continue to grow this bilateral economic relationship with the PH and it will continue to flourish,” the ambassador noted.
“We see a lot of growth potential in the Philippines and we hope to see more and more Singapore companies coming into the Philippines’ market,” Ho added.
Ho also confirmed that Singapore President Halimah Yacob invited Marcos to visit their country.
He, however, clarified that there are no details as of yet as they are still discussing the schedule of the two leaders.
Beaufils, meanwhile, also insisted on the good relationship of their country with the Philippines.
“So, I am delighted that I just came out of the meeting with the President-elect which was really useful, very informative, and very warm. I was able to set out that the UK already has a really strong bilateral relationship with the Philippines and a strong friendship between our countries and between our peoples and that we intend to take that from strength to strength over the course of the president-elect’s administration,” Beaufils noted.
“We were able to discuss areas of particular joint interests where we want to further work together and expand and broaden and deepen our collaboration. For example, as you know, the president-elect is very focused on the economy and we… boosting the economy after the pandemic and we were able to discuss what the UK has been doing in that space and what more we would do support businesses, to support trade, to support investments and infrastructure in particular,” she added.
Beaufils added that they also talked about climate change, energy, peace process in Mindanao and also human rights and media freedom.
“And I said I was very much looking forward to working with the next administration,” Beaufils averred.
Ambassadors from France and EU did not allow media interview due to prior commitments.
Last week, Marcos, received United States Chargé d’Affaires, and the Ambassadors from Japan, South Korea, and India during separate meetings Monday at BBM headquarters in Mandaluyong city.
The envoys also assured Marcos of their willingness to provide necessary assistance to hasten the country’s recovery from the ill-effects of the pandemic. (PR)