Joint Press Statement on the Official Visit to Thailand by His Excellency Rodrigo Roa Duterte, President of the Republic of the Philippines
21 March 2017

1. His Excellency Rodrigo Roa Duterte, President of the Republic of the Philippines, paid his Official Visit to Thailand on 20 – 22 March 2017 at the invitation of His Excellency General (Ret.) Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of Thailand. President Duterte expressed appreciation to Prime Minister Prayut and the Royal Thai Government for the warm welcome and hospitality extended to him and his delegation during the visit.

2. President Duterte and Prime Minister Prayut expressed satisfaction with the close and comprehensive relations between the Philippines and Thailand, which were built over the past 68 years since the signing of the Treaty of Friendship on 14 June 1949. Both Leaders shared the view that the Philippines and Thailand have the synergy to further deepen and expand cooperation in areas of mutual interest and to work together to strengthen the ASEAN Community as well as to cooperate on matters of mutual interest at both the regional and international fora.

3. The two Leaders updated each other on political developments and national efforts in the Philippines and Thailand. Prime Minister Prayut informed President Duterte on the progress of the implementation of national reform “Stability, Prosperity and Sustainability for Thailand” under the 20-year National Strategy Plan and Thailand
4.0 policy. The President briefed Prime Minister Prayut on the Philippine Development
Plan 2017-2022, which aims at promoting inclusive growth, a high-trust society, and a globally-competitive knowledge economy of the Philippines.

4. President Duterte expressed profound and heartfelt condolences to the Thai Royal Family, the Royal Thai Government and the people of Thailand on the passing of His Majesty the Late King Bhumibol Adulyadej on 13 October 2016 while Prime Minister Prayut expressed sincere appreciation to President Duterte for visiting Thailand on 9 November 2016 to pay respects to His Majesty the Late King.

5. On the auspicious occasion of the ascension and proclamation of King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, President Duterte expressed warmest congratulations and well wishes on the reign of His Majesty King Maja Vajiralongkorn in bringing more peace, progress and prosperity to the Thai people and closer ties between the Philippines and Thailand.

6. Both Leaders noted with satisfaction the over six (6) decades of excellent Philippines-Thailand relations, and looked forward to the commemoration of the sixty eight (681h) year of relations on June 2017. Both Leaders highlighted the importance of

the Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) as the forum to discuss issues of mutual concerns. Both Leaders also looked forward to the convening of the 61h JCBC to be hosted by Thailand at a mutually agreed date.

7. On defense and military relations, President Duterte and Prime Minister Prayut were pleased with the close cooperation between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Thailand through the exchanges of high level visits and trainings. Both Leaders expressed satisfaction on the forthcoming conclusion of the Terms of Reference (TOR) of the Joint Conunittee on Military Cooperation in April 2017 on the sidelines of the ASEAN Defense Senior Officials Meeting to be held in the Philippines. Both Leaders tasked the concerned agencies of both sides to convene the First Meeting of the Joint Committee on Military Cooperation in 201 7.

8. Both Leaders expressed concern on the growing security challenges from the spread of terrorism and extremism as well as transnational crimes such as drug trafficking, human trafficking, piracy and cyber security with a shared view that cooperation at the bilateral, regional and international levels are required in dealing with these challenges. In this regard, the two Leaders agreed to enhance cooperation in the exchanges of information and intelligence among security agencies of both sides at the bilateral, ASEAN and INTERPOL frameworks to increase efficiency in addressing these challenges.

9. Both Leaders noted the threat posed by radicalism and violent extremism to peace and stability, and highlighted the need to counter their spread comprehensively through measures, such as intercultural and interreligious dialogues and promotion of a culture of peace. Both Leaders committed to address these challenges, and recalled the Philippines and Thailand’s support for United Nations resolutions on the matter and the ASEAN Convention on Counter Terrorism, among others. They noted General Assembly Resolution A/70119 on Promotion of interreligious and intercultural dialogue, understanding and cooperation for peace of 3 December 2015.

10. On economic cooperation, both Leaders are pleased with the growing trade between the Philippines and Thailand. Both sides viewed that bilateral trade and investment between the two countries could be further expanded through more pro• active roles of the Joint Trade Committee (JTC). Both Leaders assigned concerned agencies to convene the First Meeting of the JTC to be hosted by the Philippines in
2017. They also acknowledged the positive contribution that the Philippines – Thailand Business Council and Thailand – Philippines Business Council can extend in enhancing economic cooperation. Towards this, the two Leaders encouraged private sectors of the two countries to reactivate the meetings of the Business Councils to explore business opportunities between the two countries in sectors of mutual interest such as services, digital content, agriculture, science, technology and innovation, investment in the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) of Thailand and the Philippine Economic Zone (PEZ). Both Leaders recognized that enhancing economic cooperation requires the cooperation of both the public and the private sectors.

11. The two Leaders welcomed the extension of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of the Kingdom of Thailand on the Procurement of Thai White Rice from 31 December
2016 to 31 December 2018, which would contribute to cooperation in food security between the two countries.

12. Both Leaders welcomed the progress in agriculture cooperation with the convening of the First Meeting of the Joint Agricultural Working Group between the Philippines and Thailand on 26-27 January 2017 in Bangkok, Thailand. The two Leaders also welcomed the signing of the Implementation Arrangement (IA) on Specific Areas of Cooperation between the Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources of the Philippines and the Department of Fisheries of Thailand on 4 April 2016, and the Implementation Arrangement (IA) on Specific Areas of Cooperation between the Department of Agriculture – Philippine Carabao Center, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives – Department of Livestock Development on Swamp and Dairy Buffalo Production during this Official Visit.

13. Both sides agreed to further promote cooperation and exchange of best practices in irrigation, artificial rain, livestock and fisheries and the application of technology for sustainable soil and water conservation. Both sides looked forward to the Philippine hosting of the Second Meeting of the Joint Agricultural Working Group in 2019.

14. The two Leaders recognized the positive contribution of tourism to overall national development and to strengthening people-to-people relations. Towards this end, they tasked relevant agencies to explore ways to further enhance tourism cooperation, including identifying specific activities to pursue this such as the promotion of joint tourist destinations. Both sides welcomed the signing of the Implementing Program on Tourism Cooperation 2017-2022 between the Department of Tourism of the Republic of the Philippines and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports of the Kingdom of Thailand.

15. On energy cooperation, the two Leaders welcomed the convening of the First Philippines – Thailand Energy Forum (PTEF) on 5 – 6 August 2015 hosted by Thailand. The Philippines will host the Second PTEF in September 2017 following the 35th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting and Related Meetings. Both sides agreed to intensify cooperation and exchanges of knowledge and best practices in alternative energy such as ethanol, biodiesel and thermal energy, energy conservation and the use of technology in the exploration and production of petroleum.

16. Both Leaders are pleased with the close cooperation on education between the concerned agencies of the Philippines and Thailand. The Thai side expressed appreciation to the Philippine side on the contribution of the Overseas Filipino teachers and educators in schools and academic institutions in Thailand. Both Leaders agreed to task their relevant agencies to discuss activities to build and strengthen networks of schools and educational institutions to enhance cooperation in this field.

17. The two Leaders welcomed the close technical cooperation at the bilateral and trilateral frameworks between the Philippines and Thailand with the objective of promoting human resource development as a cornerstone of• national development. The Philippines hosted the Second Meeting of Technical Cooperation between the Philippines and Thailand on 3 – 6 November 2016. Both sides agreed to cooperate in bilateral and trilateral projects on Sustainable Community Development Model based on the application of the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy and to support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

18. Both sides welcomed the closer collaboration in the field of science and technology with the signing of the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Kingdom of Thailand for Cooperation in the field of Science and Technology during the Official Visit, which will promote exchanges of joint academic research and development, scientists and specialists, technical documentation and information, and the arrangement of bilateral conferences, among other activities.

19. Both leaders recalled the ASEAN Declaration of 8 August 1967 signed in Bangkok, Thailand that established the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). They acknowledged the rich history of ASEAN and looked forward to the celebration of the 50111
Anniversary of ASEAN in 2017 under the Philippine Chairmanship. The two Leaders exchanged views on ASEAN and regional developments. The Thai side expressed readiness to support ASEAN’ s continuing efforts, under the Chairmanship of the Philippines in 2017, to become more people-oriented and people-centred. Both sides shared the view that amidst the uncertainties and changing global trends, the Philippines and Thailand must strengthen the ASEAN Community and ensure the involvement of the people in the Community building process.

20. On the South China Sea, the two Leaders viewed that maintaining peace, stability and security as well as respecting freedom of navigation and over-flight in the South China Sea are in the interest of all countries, within and outside the region, as they are fundamental conditions for growth, development and prosperity. Both sides emphasized the need for the full and effective implementation of the Declaration of the Conduct (DOC) of Parties in the South China Sea in its entirety and expressed their shared determination to complete the Framework of the Code of Conduct by 2017. Thailand believes that in order to benefit the region and its people, the ultimate goal should be for the South China Sea to be a “Sea of Peace, Stability and Sustainable Development”. The Philippines reaffirmed its commitment to continue working with Thailand and all parties concerned in enhancing maritime cooperation and preserving peace and stability in the South China Sea.

21. As the Philippines and Thailand advance towards the next decade of relations, the two Leaders reaffirmed their commitment to work closely together to translate the outcome of the Official Visit into concrete results for the greater peace, security and sustainable development of the two countries, the peoples, the ASEAN Community and humankind.