Duterte in Vietnam for working visit

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President Rodrigo Duterte delivers speech before he leaves for Vietnam.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) - President Rodrigo Duterte is in Vietnam for a two-day official visit.

Before leaving on Wednesday, the President said in his pre-departue speech--the Philippines and Vietnam have had a strong friendship for decades.

"For the past 40 years, PH and Vietnam have fostered a strong relationship built on a common desire towards achieving greater peace and prosperity, anchored on the basic tenets of sovereign equality, non-interference, and peaceful settlement of disputes," Duterte said.

The President added, he looks forward to renewing the ties of friendship between the two countries, and affirm the commitment to work closer and achieve common goals.

"I look forward to exchange views and explore opportunities, further significantly improving our economic bilateral cooperation including stronger partnership in economic, agriculture, defense and maritime operations," said Duterte.

The President also said the two nations will seek to identify emerging areas of partnership particularly in maritime cooperation, security, and law-enforcement.

Duterte said as maritime nations with rapidly developing economies, both the Philippines and Vietnam acknowledge the convergence of our strategic interests.

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He added, the two countries "shall also seek the ways to advance collaboration in the campaign against illegal drugs," in realizing a drug-free ASEAN.

"Broadening cooperation and collaboration between the Philippines and Vietnam and solidifying our strategic partnership to further strengthen our countries in the region which we belong to," Duterte said.

"I shall endeavor to work closely with my counterparts in Vietnam in order to fully realize the objectives we share."

Upon his return, President Duterte said he will report on the accomplishment particulary in the key bilateral issues affecting the relations of the Philippines and Vietnam.