Marcos, Anwar agree to boost security and trade ties

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 1) — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim have agreed to boost security cooperation and trade ties following their bilateral meeting in Manila on Wednesday.

Anwar — who is in the country for a two-day official visit — said his administration will be "more than happy" to strengthen its multisectoral collaboration with the Philippine government.

"Our defense and security ties are also strong and growing. We share common borders and to an extent quite porous," Anwar said during a joint press conference with Marcos in Malacañang. "Therefore, the collaboration needs to be further enhanced."

This was echoed by Marcos, who bared that the two governments agreed to hold joint initiatives and meetings to combat "transnational crimes and terrorism."

Aside from political matters, the two leaders said they also discussed investment exchanges — particularly focusing on the halal industry, agriculture, food security, and the digital economy.

"The president [Marcos] and I also agreed that both countries should intensify efforts to increase the volume of trade and investments. We had a very good beginning but there is no excuse why we can't further increase both," Anwar stressed.

Anwar is first head of government to visit the Philippines since Marcos took office last year.

Meanwhile, Marcos also took the time to thank the Malaysian executive for making the trip, as he highlighted the same visions of the neighboring nations.

"Prime Minister [a]nd I had a cordial and productive discussion on Philippines-Malaysia bilateral cooperation, reaffirming our two countries' desire to revitalize relations," the Philippine leader said.