MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese Saturday vowed to further boost the Philippines and Australia's cooperation on agriculture, energy, and climate change.
Marcos and Albanese pitched the proposal during their bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the 29th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders' Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand.
"We have many, many connections that I think we can strengthen and promote further: the areas of agriculture, the areas of renewable energy," Marcos told Albanese.
Marcos sought closer cooperation with Canberra, as he acknowledged the "long-standing" and "stronger" connections between the two countries.
"As you say, the connections between Australia and the Philippines have been long-standing and have become stronger and stronger. We have a sizeable population in Australia of Filipino nationals. And many of them have already taken Australian citizenship and dual citizenship," he said.
Albanese, for his part, expressed appreciation for the two countries' good economic and people-to-people relations.
Agreeing with Marcos that this year's APEC summit is "extremely successful," Albanese also backed the Philippine leader's call to address the climate crisis and expressed willingness to collaborate with the Philippines to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
"Australia and the Philippines have such good relations. We have good economic ties. We have good people-to-people relations," Albanese said.
"In your closing comments in the Plenary Session that there was a common thing that you and I have to take action on climate change, and we may deal with that. And I'm sure that we can have great cooperation," he told Marcos.
Marcos also expressed gratitude to Australia for its hospitality and for being "helpful" to Filipinos residing and working in the host country.
"They (Filipinos) have appreciated very much the hospitality Australians have given them, especially.
To date, Australia is home to over 300,000 Filipinos.
Former president and incumbent Senior Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, House Speaker Martin Romualdez, and Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual were present during Marcos' bilateral meeting with Albanese. (PNA)