Vietnam is willing to provide the Philippines with rice at reasonable prices, Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh said at a meeting with the latter’s President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in Indonesia on Wednesday on the sidelines of the 42nd ASEAN Summit.
Vietnam’s long-term and stable rice supply to the Philippines will help the latter guarantee food security, said the Vietnamese government leader.
Philippine President Marcos Jr. appreciated Vietnam’s goodwill, affirming that Vietnam is one of the Philippines’ key partners.
The top Philippine official hoped that the two nations would promote the role of private firms in economic and investment cooperation.
The two leaders were also determined to increase two-way trade to VND233.8 trillion (US$10 billion) by opening the doors to various products, including farm produce and food, from the two countries.
Apart from eyeing a stronger exchange of high-ranking delegations, the representatives of the two nations reached a consensus on deeper collaboration in potential fields such as agriculture, hi-tech, tourism, a sea-based economy, and education.
Philippine President Marcos Jr. said that he expected to visit Vietnam this year to deepen the two nations’ relations.
In mid-April, the National Food Authority of the Philippines proposed importing 330,000 tonnes of rice to make up for the potential deficit in the country’s buffer stock.
President Marcos Jr.’s government has taken drastic action to control inflation and lower rice prices.
In addition to extending its preferential import tax policy until the end of the year, the Philippines has ramped up its purchase of rice from other nations, including Vietnam, which is currently one of the former’s biggest rice suppliers.
Statistics from the General Department of Vietnam Customs indicated that in the first quarter of 2023, the Philippines imported rice worth VND10.5 trillion ($450 million) from Vietnam, accounting for over 45 percent of the latter’s total rice export value and soaring nearly 45 percent year on year.