By Rjhay E. Laurea
MANDALUYONG CITY — Vice President Sara Z. Duterte recently met seven foreign ambassadors to further strengthen diplomatic relations between the Philippines and other nations.
Among the diplomats that have met Duterte were Japanese Ambassador His Excellency Kazuhiko Koshikawa, New Zealander Ambassador His Excellency Peter Kell, Thai Ambassador His Excellency Tull Traisorat, European Ambassador His Excellency Luc Vèron, Qatari Ambassador His Excellency Dr. Ali Ibrahim Al-Malki, Indian Ambassador His Excellency Shambhu Kumaran, and American Ambassador Her Excellency MaryKay Loss Carlson.
The dignitaries expressed support for the government’s programs which are aimed at revitalizing the post-pandemic economy. The seven diplomats also reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening the bilateral relations between their respective countries and the Philippines.
Duterte thanked Koshikawa for Japan being the number one (1) partner of the Philippines in its development, investment, and trade and the number one (1) contributor to her father’s (President Rodrigo R. Duterte) “Build, Build, Build Program”.
“Lubos akong nagpapasalamat sa Japan bilang ating no. one (1) partner in development, investment and trade sa taong 2002-2021, at ang No. 1 contributor natin sa ‘Build, build, Build’ program ng administrasyong Duterte na nakapag-generate ng mahigit 6.5 milyong trabaho sa mga Pilipino mula 2016 hanggang 2020 (I am very grateful to Japan for being our no. 1 partner in development, investment and trade and the no. 1 contributor of the Philippines on the ‘Build, Build, Build Program’ of the Duterte administration that generated more than 6.5-million jobs for the Filipinos from 2016-2019),” the younger Duterte said.
Meanwhile, her discussion with Kell focused on the further development of Mindanao and strengthening the peace process in the area. Traisorat and Duterte talked about partnerships in tourism while Véron, Al-Malki, Kumaran, and Carlson and their respective countries will help the education sector.
The envoys and the Vice President were able to exchange insights on how our countries could heighten partnerships in the areas of investment, trade, and infrastructure development, among others.
All the envoys have also discussed respective educational systems and how their countries responded to the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic in the academic institutions, especially students. (ai/mtvn)