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Duterte returns from fruitful Bali meeting

/ 07:30 AM October 13, 2018

President Rodrigo Duterte arrived early on Friday morning in Davao City after his brief visit to Bali, Indonesia, where he stressed the importance of closer regional cooperation to boost growth at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Leaders’ Gathering.

“I am pleased to be back home from an engaging interaction with my fellow Asean leaders and heads of international institutions at the Asean Leaders’ Gathering in Bali,” he said in his arrival statement.

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The President said he reiterated the country’s “national priorities of inclusive growth, stable and secure environment and economic integration in the region.”

Steady growth path

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“As a regional bloc, Asean should capitalize on its strength as a highly competitive region in order to maintain its steady growth path,” he said.

“Only when we are willing to invest in ourselves can we ensure resiliency amid the challenges of trade tensions, threats to security and stability, and increasing natural calamities,” he added.

During the Asean leaders’ gathering, Mr. Duterte extended the Philippines’ sympathies to Indonesia, following the massive earthquake and tsunami that hit South Sulawesi.

Humanitarian aid

The Philippines also offered humanitarian aid to Indonesia, which was also hit by an earthquake during the summit.

“I conveyed to President Joko Widodo the Philippines’ condolences to the Indonesian people,” the President said.

He said that it was the Philippines’ turn to extend a helping hand to Indonesia, which had always shown its readiness to help the country during past calamities.

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“Now, we are giving back. That’s the Asean way. That’s our duty as brother and a neighbor,” he said.

Mr. Duterte said he also met with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to discuss efforts by their countries to delineate their maritime boundaries in the disputed South China Sea.

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