MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government is looking to bolster its ties with Malaysia amid improving COVID-19 situation in Southeast Asia, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Wednesday.
In a statement, the DFA said that the department’s Assistant Secretary for Asian and Pacific Affairs Neal Imperial met with Malaysian Ambassador to the Philippines Norman bin Muhammad last Oct. 18.
Among the things discussed by the two officials were initiatives seeking to revitalize the two nations’ relations across all areas amid easing coronavirus pandemic situation, it added.
“The two officials exchanged views and proposals on how to further boost bilateral trade and investment, address the COVID-19 pandemic, and roll out post-pandemic recovery initiatives, including the careful reopening of borders to gradually revitalize business and two-way tourism,” the DFA said.
The department said that both parties have also discussed counterterrorism cooperation, the promotion of moderate Islam in predominantly Muslim areas, as well as Malaysia’s support for the development of Mindanao.
The two officials also agreed to continue working together to further enhance Philippines-Malaysia bilateral ties, and explore the possibility of reconvening high-level bilateral meetings early next year.
Despite the effects of the pandemic, Malaysia remains one of the Philippines’ top trading partners and investment sources.
During their meeting, Imperial also conveyed the congratulations of the Philippine Government to Malaysia’s newly elected government, the DFA said.