The Philippines and Australia are expected to sign a “strategic partnership” when Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese visits the country in September, Ambassador HK Yu said on Friday.
Ambassador Yu visited the GMA Network Center where she met with the network’s top executives led by GMA Network Inc. Chairman and CEO Atty. Felipe L. Gozon.
“Just to illustrate how important this relationship is, we are expecting our Prime Minister of Australia to visit Manila on the 8th of September,” Ambassador Yu said.
“During that visit it is expected that our leaders, our two leaders will sign a strategic partnership in order to elevate our government-to-government relation to one of strategic partnership so that actually shows… how close we are,” she said.
Malaca?ang on Friday said President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Albanese would discuss defense and maritime affairs when the latter visits the Philippines from September 7 to 8.
In a statement, the Palace said President Marcos is pleased to welcome Prime Minister Albanese for his upcoming official visit–the first by an Australian Prime Minister to the country since 2003.
“The President’s meeting with Prime Minister Albanese on 08 September is anticipated to reinforce this partnership, ushering in a new era of closer cooperation across key sectors, such as defense and security, trade, economic development, and maritime affairs,” the Presidential Communications Office said.
According to the PCO, Albanese’s visit follows a series of high-level engagements earlier this year between the Philippines and Australia.
Australia is among the Philippines’ Top 12 trading partners and is the sixth destination of Filipinos abroad.
It is also one of the countries that support the Philippines’ position in the West Philippine Sea.
The Philippines also received over P3 billion in official development assistance from Australia in 2022.
In front of GMA Network officials, the ambassador stressed the importance of the media in delivering the news.
“We need media to also project to the citizens and the listeners the importance of having rules-based order to ensure we can achieve stable, peaceful and prosperous region,” Yu said.
Attorney Gozon said GMA Network Inc. is ready to support the Australian government in delivering news and information.
“We have seen how good cooperation between two countries can work out to the improvement of both countries and I’m glad to hear that Australia is there to support the Philippines,” Attorney Gozon said.
“We are prepared to help the Australian government and the embassy, especially in the forthcoming visit of their prime minister with our president. Our job is to propagate the news and give information to the public,” he added.
Other GMA officials present in the meeting are GMA President and COO Gilberto Duavit Jr., EVP and CFO Felipe S. Yalong, GMA Network SVP Atty. Annette Gozon-Valdes, SVP and Head GMA Integrated News, Regional TV and Synergy Oliver Victor B. Amoroso, and GMA Vice President Angela Javier Cruz. –Sundy Locus/NB, GMA Integrated News