Aquino to meet US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to renew economic, defense cooperation

November 16, 2011 1:12 am 

MANILA, Nov. 15 — President Benigno S. Aquino III and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be meeting Wednesday to sign an economic partnership agreement as well as to strengthen defense cooperation between the Philippines and the United States.

Clinton arrives in Manila Tuesday and will be in the country to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the US-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT). She will also participate in a signing ceremony for the Partnership for Growth (PFG) with the Philippines, as well as the launching of its implementation phase.

Clinton and Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario will sign the PFG in Malacanang Wednesday morning to be witnessed by President Aquino.

At the MDT anniversary celebration on board the US Fitzgerald, Secretary Clinton will sign a Manila Declaration that will reaffirm US commitment under the Mutual Defense Treaty so that the two countries could work together on issues of mutual interests.

Following a meeting with President Aquino, Clinton will deliver remarks at the ceremony to launch the implementation phase of the PFG at the US Embassy’s reception hall. In the afternoon where Clinton will also hold a live social media conversation with Filipino youth.

PFG initiative is a joint Philippine-US undertaking promoting and supporting broad-based economic growth of emerging markets like the Philippines.

It aims to assist selected countries to achieve higher and sustained economic growth through a more transparent, predictable, and consistent legal and regulatory regime.

PFG also supports a more open and competitive business environment, assists countries to strengthen their rule of law that is grounded in an efficient court system as well as supporting their fiscal stability.

The Philippines is the only one in Asia to be included in the PFG initiative and one of the four pilot partner countries selected by the US.

The selection of the Philippines as a PFG partner country in January 2011 was based on the country’s track record in partnering with the US government and its potential for continued economic growth.

The PFG initiative is an effort to put into practice US President Barack Obama’s presidential policy directive on global development. (PNA)

DCT/PCOO/ssc

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