It is good that Arroyo is strengthening relations with other South East Asian countries. Bilateral co-operation could help out the economies of each country.
This is from the gulfnews.
Arroyo calls for continued cooperation with Vietnam
By Gilbert Felongco, Correspondent
Published: August 10, 2007, 23:43
Manila: President Gloria Arroyo has called for continuing and stronger cooperation between the Philippines and Vietnam "in local, regional and global affairs".
Arroyo said: "Like Vietnam, the Philippines believes in a strong global engagement for our country and our people. We must be open to the world and peoples and places other than our own.
"That is what the 21st century will be about. That is why the United Nations, the Association of Southeast Asian, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and the World Trade Organisation play a large role in both Vietnam and the Philippines. They are among the most important bridges we can build and cross together."
Arroyo's comments came at a state dinner she hosted at the presidential palace in honour of Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, who arrived in Manila on Thursday for a two-day official visit.
"Our two countries are neighbours separated only by the stretch of water called the South China Sea. Across this sea we are building bridges of trade and investments, maritime and ocean cooperation, culture, tourism, security and energy," Arroyo stressed, noting the strong partnership between the countries over 31 years of diplomatic relations.
She said in this part of the region, the biggest bridge that would bind relations in the South China Sea would be the Tripartite Agreement for Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking signed in Malacanang on March 14, 2005.
The president noted the undertaking to assess the potential of petroleum development is a breakthrough in implementing the provisions of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea.
"The data-gathering and analysis are expected to finish next year, but already the initial results are promising. We should now explore the possible next steps," the president said.