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(from left to right) President of the Philippines Ferdinand Marcos Jr and the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah during the state welcome at Istana Negara in Kuala Lumpur as part of Marcos Jr’s maiden three-day visit to Malaysia, on July 26, 2023. — Picture by BERNAMA

Agong hopes Malaysia – Philippines warm relationship continues to blossom

KUALA LUMPUR, July 26 — The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah has expressed hope for the warm relationship enjoyed by Malaysia and the Philippines to continue to blossom, for the mutual benefit of their peoples and nations.

In the royal speech at a state banquet held in honour of visiting Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and First Lady Louise Araneta-Marcos, His Majesty said the Philippines is an important partner to Malaysia, given the Philippines’ close proximity and active involvement in Asean.

“Bound by our shared aspirations of progress, peace and prosperity, our two countries share many commonalities and strong people-to-people ties … to this day, we have faced many common challenges, but we have also achieved much more together.

“Mutual efforts and understanding are vital to further elevate our close relations and good cooperation to new heights … I hope that Malaysia and the Philippines can expand their collaborations and partnership in new and emerging areas such as agriculture, digital economy and halal food industry,” said the King.

Also present at the banquet hosted by Al-Sultan Abdullah and the Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah at Istana Negara here were Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, and other Cabinet members.

His Majesty said regular exchanges of high-level visits among leaders and officials of both countries will further contribute to positive momentum, in advancing the shared interests and addressing common challenges.

Both countries must continue to work closely in promoting the region’s stability, security and in making Asean a dynamic regional organisation.

“Shared peace and progress can only be achieved and maintained through stability and prosperity in the region and the world as a whole.

“Together, we shall continue to build a brighter future for our people and the generations to come, especially as we seek to celebrate our 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations next year,” said the King.

In 2022, the Philippines was Malaysia’s 15th largest trading partner globally and the fifth largest among the Asean member states, with total trade amounting to RM41.45 billion (US$9.42 billion, an increase of 20.1 per cent compared to the recorded value in 2021.

— Bernama

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