BANGKOK – The Philippines and Thailand are set to sign at least three agreements during President Duterte’s three-day official visit here.
Philippine ambassador to Thailand Mary Jo Bernardo-Aragon said both countries would ink bilateral agreements on agriculture, science and technology and tourism.
“There will be various issues of interest from both sides that may be discussed, especially strengthening cooperation in the areas of science and technology, tourism, education, agriculture and trade and investments,” Aragon said.
Duterte arrived here last night after a two-day official visit to Myanmar.
Aragon said both Filipinos and Thais are excited about Duterte’s visit.
“Even last year following the results of the election, the Thai people have been excited about the plans and programs of President Duterte… Some of them, I understand, wanted to join the meeting with the Filipino community, but of course, this is one opportunity for our Filipinos here in Thailand,” she added.
The Thais were “very touched” by Duterte’s gesture when he paid his respects to the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej last November, she also said.
“I believe it’s about his (Duterte) appeal to the people. He is concerned about having positive change in the country for the development of our people and of course the late king has always been close to this people,” the envoy said.
Duterte’s trip to Thailand caps his introductory visits to member-countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
“The Philippines is the chairman of ASEAN this year. Bangkok is the birthplace of ASEAN 50 years ago. We had ties with the government of Thailand and this visit will further strengthen the existing relationship,” Aragon said.
She said the agreement on agriculture would strengthen a 2003 deal on dairy buffalo production, while the bilateral agreement on science would involve cooperation in areas like research and development.
“The use of technology and e-commerce will help both countries, especially (in promoting) small and medium enterprises,” the envoy said.