… the EU Delegations, distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen, a pleasant afternoon to you all. Welcome to Malacañan Palace.
It is my great honor to welcome our esteemed visitors, led by Her Excellency Ursula von der Leyen. It was not so long ago that I was welcomed by Her Excellency in Brussels, when I attended the ASEAN-EU Commemorative Summit in December last year, an event that spearheaded in part by the Philippines as ASEAN Country Coordinator for 2021 to 2024.
I am glad to return the courtesy and extend our hospitality, our distinct Filipino hospitality, to Her Excellency and her delegation today
The EU is an important longstanding partner of the Philippines. We are about to celebrate our 60th – the 60th year of our formal relationships with the EU. Especially in this time of geopolitical upheavals, economic disruptions, amongst others, it is important that we have strong partners and strong allies.
There lies before us many obstacles and challenges to our respective capabilities
and to our resolve. As the Philippine economy seeks to reclaim the momentum lost during the pandemic and as we embark on a high economic growth path, your visit, Your Madame Excellency, deeply heartens us to the support of the European Union and its Member States, especially since strengthening our bilateral ties in trade, development, digital connectivity, and other sectors will undoubtedly positively impact our respective economies.
We also consider your visit as the EU’s renewed commitment to work with the Philippines shoulder-to-shoulder in accomplishing our common goals of peace and prosperity, guided by our shared values and principles, to bring about a global community that upholds democracy, the human rights, and the rule of law.
I am deeply thankful for the EU’s support and I sincerely wish and hope that this warm kinship developing between us will set the tone of the relationship and enrich the enduring bonds of friendship between our governments and peoples in the years to come.
On behalf of the government and the Filipino people, I thank you, Madame President, for undertaking this official visit to the Philippines. I and the Filipino people hope that you will be able to enjoy, in the little time that you are with us, our warm hospitality.
May I now invite everyone to rise and to join me in a toast, to:
– The peace, prosperity, and continued success of the European Union;
– The rejuvenation of our bilateral ties between the Philippines and the European Union; and
– To your continued good health, Madame President, Your Excellency.
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