Duterte decision to keep VFA put PH-US ties back on track — Locsin

 Bernadette E. Tamayo

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte’s restoration of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) put the relationship between the Philippines and the United States back on track and restored the security balance in the Asia-Pacific.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. stressed this on Wednesday during his meeting with some members of the US-Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Business Council (USABC).

He met with USABC President and Chief Executive Officer Ted Osius during his working visit to the US to mark the 75th anniversary of Philippines-US diplomatic relations on September 8.

In a statement on Thursday, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Locsin and Osius discussed ways to further expand the three-decade-old partnership between the Philippines and USABC.

They noted that USABC has been instrumental in ensuring that US businesses find a reliable trade and investment partner and hub for their regional operations in the Philippines.

Osius said Duterte’s decision “gave fresh impetus to further broaden Philippines-US engagement, especially in the economic sphere,” the DFA said.

Locsin urged the USABC to resume business missions to the Philippines as soon as possible, to effectively support the country’s post-pandemic recovery efforts.

Osius noted that there “is huge potential for growth” in Southeast Asia, with US companies looking at opportunities for diversification in the region, particularly on supply chains, the DFA said.

Beyond health-related cooperation, the Philippines remains open to opportunities for collaboration in the energy, information technology, manufacturing, and telecommunications sectors, it added.

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte’s restoration of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) put the relationship between the Philippines and the United States back on track and restored the security balance in the Asia-Pacific.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. stressed this on Wednesday during his meeting with some members of the US-Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Business Council (USABC).

He met with USABC President and Chief Executive Officer Ted Osius during his working visit to the US to mark the 75th anniversary of Philippines-US diplomatic relations on September 8.

In a statement on Thursday, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Locsin and Osius discussed ways to further expand the three-decade-old partnership between the Philippines and USABC.

They noted that USABC has been instrumental in ensuring that US businesses find a reliable trade and investment partner and hub for their regional operations in the Philippines.

Osius said Duterte’s decision “gave fresh impetus to further broaden Philippines-US engagement, especially in the economic sphere,” the DFA said.

Locsin urged the USABC to resume business missions to the Philippines as soon as possible, to effectively support the country’s post-pandemic recovery efforts.

Osius noted that there “is huge potential for growth” in Southeast Asia, with US companies looking at opportunities for diversification in the region, particularly on supply chains, the DFA said.

Beyond health-related cooperation, the Philippines remains open to opportunities for collaboration in the energy, information technology, manufacturing, and telecommunications sectors, it added.

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