Philippines President Benigno S. Aquino III leaves Manila next week for state visits to two neighboring countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), citing it a “tradition” that new heads of state hold such visits.
Aquino will be in Indonesia from March 7-9, and in Singapore from March 9-11. One highlight of Aquino’s visit to Singapore: The government there will name an orchid breed in his honor.
Acting Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario formally made the announcement before reporters at the Malacanang Palace in Manila.
In Indonesia, Aquino is set to meet with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, with fisheries cooperation, maritime boundary delimitation, and other matters, up on the agenda.
Aquino will also stand as witness to the signing of three Philippine-Indonesian agreements seeking to enhance cooperation on basic education, sports cooperation, and on cooperation in preventing and combating transnational crimes and capacity-building.
Meanwhile, in Singapore, Aquino sits down with Singaporean President SR Nathan, and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
The DFA said that Philippine and Singapore leaders are set to discuss, among others, Public-Private Partnership (PPP) initiatives and the Philippines-Singapore Action Plan.
George Yeo, Singapore’s foreign minister, attended Aquino’s inaugural, also last year.