MANILA — President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. on Wednesday said the Philippines and Laos would work closely on education, health, and people-to-people exchanges, noting potential benefits for the two countries.
During his bilateral meeting with Lao Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone, Marcos said he was proud of the contributions Filipinos made in the education sector of Lao People's Democratic Republic.
“But also there’s much more to that; there’s also an educational aspect and I think that we have the basis in our agreements and we can build upon that regard,” Marcos said, as quoted by the Presidential Communications Office.
Education is something the two countries can promote, he said, “now that things are beginning to open up.”
“We have always felt that this has been a relationship -- that although this has been a long-standing one that we can further develop. We had a very good working relationship with your predecessor, and we certainly look forward to continuing that during your chairmanship for ASEAN in the next ASEAN sessions,” Marcos told Siphandone.
“The Philippines and Lao PDR, as I said, have had a very long relationship but it is something that --- there’s much potential, now that our economies, especially here in ASEAN and around the region have begun to show signs of life after the pandemic," he added.
The two countries can also strengthen its ties in the tourism sector, the Chief Executive said.
During the meeting, Siphandone invited Marcos for a state visit in Laos.
“I would like to extend an invitation from His Excellency Thongloun Sisoulith, President of the Laos PDR, to Your Excellency to make a state visit at a time of convenience for you,” Siphandone said.
The Presidential Communications Office did not mention if Marcos accepted the invitation, but the Philippine leader also invited Siphandone and Sisoulith to visit the country.
Laos hosts around 2,000 Filipinos, Marcos noted.
-- Report from Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News