President S.R. Nathan of Singapore expressed confidence that the three-day state visit of President Benigno S. Aquino III here will “work in even closer partnership to deepen regional cooperation in this globalized world.”
“Let us continue with our strong partnership to preserve the centrality and relevance of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) in the evolving regional architecture in Asia,” President Nathan said as he proposed a toast to President Aquino during the State Banquet the Singaporean leader hosted on Thursday night at the Singapore Istana Banquet Hall here.
Nathan noted that bilateral relations between the Philippines and Singapore have always been strong. “We are bound together not only by strong historical connections but also by our increasingly robust economic ties.”
“Besides being your country’s fourth largest trading partner last year,” he said, Singapore is also a major investor in the Philippines with registered cumulative investments reaching some 4.2 billion dollars as of end- 2009.
President Nathan likewise cited the recent expansion of the two countries’ bilateral air services which, he said, can be expected to further strengthen these bonds of friendship, “with more of our peoples getting together for trade and tourism.”
He said the people-to-people ties between the two countries have also remained strong, noting that they “complement our strong political and economic ties and provide our bilateral relationship.” – PNA