MANILA — Singapore President Halimah Yacob is traveling to Manila on Sunday for her first state visit to the Philippines on the invitation of President Rodrigo Duterte, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced Wednesday.
The visit seeks to create an opportunity for both states to discuss and engage in agreements in different sectors such as political, economic, cultural, and people-to-people engagement.
During her Manila trip, Halimah and Duterte will hold a bilateral meeting to discuss the said areas of mutual interest. Halimah will also meet with the Philippines-Singapore Business Council.
She will also visit Davao City, during which she will stop by the Philippine Eagle Center and hold a dialogue with Mindanao youth.
“The State Visit will mark the apex of this year’s celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Singapore,” the DFA said in a bulletin sent to the media.
Last May, the Philippines and Singapore celebrated their 50 years of diplomatic relations which was marked with successful collaborations, one of which is the loaning of a pair of critically endangered Philippine Eagle to the Wildlife Reserves Singapore for a conservation breeding program.
Over the years, the two states have maintained strong and vibrant relations, particularly on bilateral economic ties.
In 2018 alone, Singapore topped as the Philippines’ fifth largest export market worldwide and the 1st in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, with export receipts amounting to USD4.234 billion.
Singapore is also the seventh top import supplier to the country, with receipts amounting to USD6.018 billion in 2018, and the 2nd biggest international investor, with investment commitments totaling PHP21.18 billion or 11.8 percent of total foreign pledges in 2018.
Among others, Singapore is also the ninth largest tourism market with 171,800 passenger arrivals in 2018. Joyce Ann L. Rocamora / PNA – northboundasia.com