Malacañan Palace
21 May 2014

President Benigno S. Aquino III welcomed Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam who is on a two-day Working Visit to the Philippines from 21-22 May 2014.

The Prime Minister was accorded foyer honors upon his arrival in Malacañan Palace and signed the guest book at the Reception Hall before proceeding to the Music Room for a courtesy call on President Aquino.  An expanded bilateral meeting between the two delegations followed afterwards.

In their press statements, President Aquino underscored the strong and deepening relations between the two countries that was highlighted by Vietnam’s support and assistance to the relief and rehabilitation efforts during super typhoon Yolanda.

The two leaders exchanged views on several areas of cooperation and collaboration such as defense, security, maritime, tourism, trade and investment.  “In 2013, Vietnam was the 18th top trading partner of the Philippines, with total bilateral trade amounting to US$1.33 billion.  Our objective now: to attain two-way trade to the tune of at least US$3.0 billion by 2016.  We also noted that Filipino companies such as Jollibee, Liwayway, and San Miguel Corporation are already in Vietnam.  This is indeed an important step in realizing our shared objective of equitable prosperity, and we look forward to working closely with Your Excellency in this regard,” President Aquino said.

On the other hand, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung denounced China’s recent activities in the South China Sea that clearly violates international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC).

The Vietnamese leader particularly cited China’s parking of an oil rig in the East Sea and its deployment of naval vessels to protect the rig that is within Vietnam’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.

These activities, according to the Prime Minister, has “seriously threatened peace, stability, maritime security, safety and freedom of navigation in the East Sea.”