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Philippines, EU to work on rules-based security

Pia Lee-Brago - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines has joined the Prague High Level Dialogue (PRG HLD) on the Indo-Pacific, underscoring Manila’s eagerness to work with the European Union on a rules-based security architecture to ensure a just peace in the region.

Department of Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary for European affairs Jaime Victor Ledda recently led the Philippine delegation to the PRG HLD on the Indo-Pacific at the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Czernin Palace.

The Prague dialogue, held as part of the upcoming six-month Czech presidency of the EU Council that will commence on July 1, was a follow-through of the Ministerial Forum for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific held in Paris last February.

In his intervention at the roundtable on Synergies in Indo-Pacific Strategies, Ledda reiterated the statement of Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. at the Paris forum that “the future will be determined by the dynamics of the Indo-Pacific region” and welcomed the European Union’s shared interest in advancing priorities under the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific: maritime cooperation, connectivity, economic cooperation and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

He also emphasized that the Philippines, along with ASEAN and its partners, can work on strengthening trade through free trade agreements (FTAs), support for micro, small and medium enterprises, and disaster risk reduction and management.

Trade, which was not specifically addressed at the Ministerial Forum in Paris, was the focus of the second day of the PRG HLD on the Indo-Pacific. Speakers, led by Czech Minister of Trade Jozef Sikela, cited the importance of concluding FTAs with key economic partners in the Indo-Pacific region, and of implementing existing trade and investment agreements.

Home to 60 percent of the world’s population, the Indo-Pacific contributes about 67 percent to global economic growth.

EUROPEAN UNION

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