Rizal Hall, Malacañan Palace
April 27, 2017

“For the Philippines, Brunei Darussalam is a most valued friend and an ally on many fronts,” said President Rodrigo Roa Duterte as he played host to Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, and other Brunei delegates in a state banquet at the Malacañan Palace.

In his toast, the President spoke of the progress on bilateral relations between the two countries, saying, “We have more than three decades of vibrant formal diplomatic relations and centuries of enduring ties at the grassroots. We aspire and work for a greater peace and prosperity for our peoples, nations and regions. That is a solid foundation, not just true friendship, but a meaningful brotherhood.”

President Duterte ended his toast by conveying his gratitude to the Brunei leader. “Allow me a singular opportunity to thank you personally on my behalf and of my nation, of what you have done, your Excellency, and what you will continue to do,” he said.

Sultan Bolkiah also reaffirmed the President’s message of a strong relationship between the two countries and spoke of the efforts made that day to further enhance cooperation. “I’m pleased that we are enhancing our ties with greater cultural cooperation that will promote the richness and diversity of our arts and culture,” the Sultan said.

He also spoke of the importance of the Filipino community in Brunei, emphasizing, “Our bonds of friendship are also reflected in the presence of 23,000 Filipino nationals working in our country. They comprise a community making significant contributions to our socio-economic development.”

Strong economic ties, cooperation in the halal and agro-based industries, collaboration in the energy sector, and maintaining overall peace and stability in the Southeast Asian region were also part of Sultan Bolkiah’s message in his toast at the state banquet.

The state visit of the Sultan and other Brunei delegates form part of their participation in the 30th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Meetings hosted and chaired by the Philippines from April 26 to 29, 2017.

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