PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said he would seek deeper ties with countries in Latin America, Africa, and Central Asia in the last three years of his term.
Duterte made the pledge in a speech at the forum of the Valdai Discussion Club in Sochi, Russia.
“In the remaining three years of my term, we will likewise expand the horizon of Philippine diplomacy by deepening our engagement in Latin America, Africa and Central Asia,” Duterte said.
“We will strengthen our economic ties with these regions, opening new markets and with it the free exchange of ideas, technology, and innovation.”
Duterte added: “For I want the Filipino people to broaden their worldwide view, to be enriched by the cultures and intellectual traditions of the old civilizations of the Americas, Africa, Central Asia, and the Middle East.”
Duterte has yet to embark on an official or state visit to a country in Latin America, Africa, and Central Asia. The President, however, went to Peru, a Latin American nation, to attend the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in 2016.
This year’s APEC Summit will be held in Chile, a neighboring country of Peru, in November.
The President also said that it was “high time that the Philippines look at the Middle East with fresh eyes going beyond oil and overseas Filipino workers.”
“As one of the fastest growing economies in the world, the Philippines will assume our twin responsibility of sustaining the growth of our people, while helping other developing countries in their own [journey] to progress,” he said.
He mentioned that for years, the foreign policy of the Philippines was tailored to that of the United States.