Philippine Senate President and New Zealand PM Discuss Deeper Cooperation

Senate President Zubiri and NZ PM Luxon meet to strengthen economic and security ties, discuss agricultural cooperation and Indo-Pacific stability.

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Bijay Laxmi
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Philippine Senate President and New Zealand PM Discuss Deeper Cooperation

Philippine Senate President and New Zealand PM Discuss Deeper Cooperation

Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon of New Zealand met in the Philippines this week to discuss strengthening economic and security cooperation between the two countries. The meeting focused on agricultural knowledge sharing and upholding a free, open, and secure Indo-Pacific region.

Zubiri said the meeting was a good opportunity to nurture closer relations with New Zealand as a partner in development in the Indo-Pacific. "We are eager to initiate more agricultural knowledge sharing, capacity building, and technology transfer initiatives between the Philippines and New Zealand, given our country's agricultural potential," he stated.

The two leaders emphasized that the Philippines and New Zealand share the objective of maintaining a free, open, and secure Indo-Pacific region. They discussed bilateral security cooperation, with Zubiri noting, "The Philippines and New Zealand are like-minded states who share the goal of maintaining a free, open, and secure Indo-Pacific."

Zubiri and Luxon also discussed plans for the two countries to sign a Mutual Logistics Supporting Arrangement by the end of 2024 and establish a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026. The meeting followed agreements between President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and Prime Minister Luxon to strengthen military cooperation and elevate the bilateral relationship.

The Philippine delegation at the meeting included several senators and government officials, while Luxon was accompanied by New Zealand's Minister of Climate Change and Revenue and the country's first Member of Parliament of Filipino descent.

Why this matters: The meeting between Senate President Zubiri and Prime Minister Luxon reflects the increasing strategic importance of the Indo-Pacific region and the desire for countries to cooperate in maintaining stability and security. Strengthening ties between the Philippines and New Zealand could have significant implications for economic development and geopolitical dynamics in the region.

In addition to the security discussions, the meeting also highlighted the potential for enhanced agricultural cooperation between the Philippines and New Zealand. Zubiri expressed interest in learning from New Zealand's success as a global agricultural exporter and exploring opportunities for knowledge sharing and technology transfer to boost the Philippines' agricultural sector.

Key Takeaways

  • Senate President Zubiri and NZ PM Luxon met to discuss economic, security ties.
  • Aim to strengthen agricultural cooperation, technology transfer between PH and NZ.
  • Discussed plans to sign Mutual Logistics Supporting Arrangement, Comprehensive Partnership.
  • Emphasized maintaining free, open, and secure Indo-Pacific region as shared goal.
  • Meeting reflects growing strategic importance of Indo-Pacific, desire for regional cooperation.