President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. met briefly with Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister Don Pramudwinai after his inauguration on June 30 to discuss future prospects between the two nations.
The meeting was originally scheduled to be a 15-minute courtesy but call lasted for 35 minutes.
The two leader's discussions covered important issues in the Southeast Asia region like the food security issue in the Philippines, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) affairs, the crisis in Myanmar, and the prospects of Philippine-Thai relations.
They also talked about the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, which is causing food insecurity around the world. President Marcos said that he plans to import more rice from Thailand due to rising domestic demand, a move that was welcomed by the Thai Foreign Minister.
Thai companies Dusit Thani Group, Charoen Pokphand, and Ital-Thai are some of the biggest investors in the Philippines, with a total of $238 million, while the biggest Filipino investors in Thailand are San Miguel and Monde Nissin, with $520 million in business portfolio.
The two leaders also reminisced the historical ties between the two countries, when former President Diosdado Macapagal invited the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great and Queen Sirikit the Queen Mother to Manila in 1963.
Five years later, the newly-installed president’s father and late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. visited Thailand for a three-day state visit to Bangkok in June 1968, where the late King presented him with an honorary law degree.
The King of Thailand and President Marcos will meet in the APEC 2022 leaders’ meeting in Bangkok in November.
The diplomatic relationship between Thailand and the Philippines started as early as 1949, with a bilateral trade volume reaching $10.8 billion, or 385 billion baht, in 2020. Thai exports in the Philippines are mainly focused on computer parts, electronic circuits and products, cosmetics and edible oil.
Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments in politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. The views expressed are his own.
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