PBBM highlights need to boost trade, security ties with Australia


Concerned over existing geopolitical tension in the Asia-Pacific region, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. is pushing to strengthen the country’s security and defense pact with Australia.

During his courtesy call with Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong in Malacañang on Thursday, he noted that such partnership with Australia and the country’s neighboring nations will help prevent the eruption of international conflict.

“Now we have a situation where partnerships have become extremely important and it might be the key to maintaining the peace not only in the Asia Pacific but the Indo-Pacific region,” Marcos said.

While participating at the 42nd Asean Summit last week, the President announced the country would seek a similar security partnership with Vietnam.

This as the country continues to deal with territorial disputes with China.

Marcos said he also wants to further develop trade cooperation with Australia to help with the country’s “economic transformation.”

“The very important partner in the transformation of our economy is the private sector. And therefore, we welcome any contact with the private sector because we feel that it is impossible for the government to do it all alone,” Marcos said.

For her part, Wong said Australia is interested in coming out with such strategic partnership with the Philippines.

“We want to work with you for our mutual benefit recognizing the importance of economic strength,” Wong told the President.

The President said he is eyeing to further discuss such partnerships in another bilateral meeting with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese by September.