Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr calls on Filipino envoys to seek non-traditional partners in trade and security issues to benefit the country

2023 June 7

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Wednesday called on Filipino ambassadors to continuously look for so-called ‘non-traditional’ partners in terms of trade, and security and defense requirements of the country.

In a meeting with recently appointed Filipino chiefs of mission and ambassadors in Malacanang, the President stressed that with the current global situation amid the ‘pandemic economy’ which altered the dynamics of world dealings, the Philippines has to cope with the changing times so as not to be left behind.

“We are constantly now- after all the changes that have been imposed upon us, like the pandemic economy and the world situation, looking for what we sometimes referred to as non-traditional partners in trades, in any kind, in security and defense issues. All these things, we are always looking for partners,” the chief executive told the Filipino diplomats.

The President , however, pointed out his administration remains neutral in terms of foreign policy, not siding on the views of any other countries.

“We do not subscribe to any notion of a bipolar world . We only side, of course, to the Philippines, not to the US, not to Beijing, not to Moscow. That’s very much being independent in what we do,” Marcos said.

Marcos also urged the envoys to explore and discuss with him some opportunities or undertakings that might be substantially beneficial to the country and to Filipinos.

“I’m sure you have heard that we are prioritizing agriculture, energy, all of the infrastructure development, and digitalization. Now, if there are opportunities that would come up, you should explore them and if they’re promising enough, then we’ll take it up. We’ll try to see if something can come up. There’s no harm in trying and kung anuman ang mangyari, at least we tried,” he said.

“So let us keep looking at those areas. And also what I found many times, you go there and you talk about agri and something else comes up.”

Those who attended the meeting with the President were Chief of Mission Carlos Deymek Sorreta, Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland; Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Henry Sicad Bensurto Jr. (Republic of Turkiye), Renato Pedro Oabel Villa (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia), Raul Salavarria Hernandez (Sultanate of Oman), Paul Raymund Pasion Cortez (Portuguese Republic), Joel Francisco Ignacio (Republic of India), and Maria Angela Abrera Ponce (Malaysia).