Marcos seeks stronger ties with Laos, Mauritania, Mongolia

Helen Flores - The Philippine Star
Marcos seeks stronger ties with Laos, Mauritania, Mongolia
President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. (right) and Lao Ambassador to the Philippines Sonexay Vannaxay (left).
pna.gov.ph / Photo courtesy of the Office of the Press Secretary

MANILA, Philippines — The Marcos administration is eyeing stronger diplomatic relations and cooperation with Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Mauritania and Mongolia, particularly in the areas of agriculture and people-to-people exchange.

President Marcos received the countries’ new ambassadors to the Philippines at Malacañang on Monday.

The President told Lao PDR Ambassador to the Philippines Sonexay Vannaxay that agriculture has become a “very high priority” for his administration.

“And so if there is anything that we could collaborate and cooperate (with), it’s that,” Marcos, who concurrently serves as agriculture secretary, said.

“We can start agricultural exchanges in the exchange of technology, transfer of technology. And perhaps from there, we can do more,” Marcos told the Lao ambassador.

The President noted that since the Philippines and Lao PDR belong to the same region, they have the same interests and face similar difficulties and challenges.

Vannaxay, for his part, lauded Manila and Vientiane’s “good relations in diplomatic and political affairs.”

“Since the establishment of our diplomatic ties over six decades ago, our two countries have maintained good relations in diplomatic and political affairs, as well as supporting each other in regional and international fora,” the envoy told Marcos.

Vannaxay sought the Philippines’ assistance in the health sector, particularly in the training of nursing professionals.

“I would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude to the Philippines for helping us in many areas... Help us in training the sectors of (diplomacy), as well as nursing and health areas,” the Lao ambassador said.

They also expressed assurance in harnessing people-to-people ties, especially among the youth.

The President also cited the great potential and a promising future for the Philippines and Lao PDR in terms of trade.

“We have already passed the trade levels during the pre-pandemic (period). So, we are doing more trade now than we were in 2019. So I think that’s a healthy sign that now we are back and we can continue to grow the trade relations. It seems natural because we are such close neighbors,” Marcos told Vannaxay.

Meanwhile, Marcos expressed the government’s interest in partnering with Mauritania in professional training and agriculture during his meeting with Ambassador B.A. Samba Mamadou.

Marcos recognized the country’s good history in rice cultivation, one of Mauritania’s main commodities.

“Mauritania is a very small country, population-wise, but we have natural resources, fishery. We have cooperation with countries like Japan, the European Union, China and Turkey,” the Mauritanian envoy told Marcos.

Mauritania also has minerals like coal, copper, as well as plutonium and recently, it discovered huge gas deposits both offshore and inland, Mamadou said.

Mauritania is trying to diversify its partnership not only with its traditional partners, but also with other nations for the benefit of its country and people, according to the envoy.

“So I am looking forward to meeting some Filipino businessmen and see how I can really talk about the opportunities and tap opportunities that are in Mauritania,” Mamadou said.

Marcos also told Mamadou the Philippines is looking at other energy sources aside from its traditional partners with the current energy crisis.

The President also received Mongolian Ambassador Enkhbayar Sosorbaram.

Marcos briefed the envoy about the Philippines’ priorities for quick development as it comes out of the pandemic economy, including agriculture, energy, education and all other basic services.

“So these are the areas that I think that other countries can cooperate in. And the two-way exchange is always to the advantage of both sides. I’m looking forward to not only visit your country, to visit Mongolia, but I’m looking forward to seeing our relationship grow and have much closer ties with Mongolia in the future,” Marcos told Sosorbaram.

The envoy recognized the Philippines as a very important nation in Southeast Asia, which has collaborated with Mongolia on the world stage, especially in the United Nations.
Sosorbaram also told the Chief Executive that people-to-people exchange is an important part of the two nations’ bilateral relations. – Ralph Edwin Villanueva




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