RP, Malaysia Partners for Peace and Prosperity

Manila Bulletin, August 8, 2001 | Go to article overview

RP, Malaysia Partners for Peace and Prosperity


THE most important realities that characterize our country's international and regional environment to which we have to respond in order to achieve our goal. First, more and more Philippine foreign policy decisions have to be made in the context of ASEAN. Second, the International Islamic Community will continue to be important for the Philippines. Third, the country's economic growth, will continue to involve direct foreign investments. Fourth, a country, like the Philippines, can benefit most quickly from international tourism. And fifth, overseas Filipinos will continue to create a critical role in the country's economic and social stability. Let me elaborate one each of these...

On ASEAN: The commitment to ASEAN remains a cornerstone of Philippine foreign policy. The Philippines will remain firm in implementing its commitment in ASEAN as a strategy to achieve global competitiveness towards attaining sustainable growth and development. As charter members of ASEAN, the Philippines and Malaysia share a common task and look forward to a common future.

In our state visit, we will discuss with our Malaysian friends how we can put back on track the east ASEAN growth area and thus, make Mindanao - the most vulnerable of our regions - our gateway to ASEAN.

On the Islamic community: The Islamic community of nations is extremely important in the search for lasting peace and broad-based development in southern Philippines. The Philippines and Malaysia are specially, organically intertwined. We are not only the closest of neighbors, we are ethnic cognate with deeprooted language culture and religion. Recognizes Malaysia's role both as an ASEAN neighbor and as an Islamic brother, my state visit is a journey for security and stability while in Kuala Lumpur, I shall express appreciation to Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad for Malaysia's assistance in postering political stability in Mindanao.

My delegation will join hands, as well, with our Malaysian counterparts to collectively address the insidious threat of terrorism and piracy that lay to our common

On investment: In an increasingly integrated global economy, foreign capital and technology and market are important for the development of the Philippines. While in Kuala Lumpur, I shall solicit Malaysia's cooperation in my administration's efforts to stimulate economic growth in the Philippines, especially southern Philippines. With industrialism, businessmen, my program for foreign investors is what we shall strive to communicate.

On tourism: The tourism industry is a labor intensive, broad-based, geographically diffused sector that quick returns will be laid on top of our development priorities. In order to help achieve this, I shall propose intensification of cooperation and tourism, particularly in at willing arrangement whereby Malaysia will encourage the tourists who go there to come to the Philippines as well. …

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