Filipino President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr. begins a visit to Vietnam today.
This will be Marcos’ first visit to the southeast Asian country since his inauguration in June 2022.
Marcos will spend the trip meeting with Vietnamese officials. The visit is expected to focus heavily on agriculture, as Vietnam is one of the largest suppliers of rice to the Philippines and a large majority of Filipino nationals working in Vietnam are employed in the agricultural sector.
The two ASEAN partners share a centuries-old relationship despite political differences during the Cold War, and their cooperation in the South China Sea has been beneficial for establishing a maritime code of conduct in the region.
In the short term, expect early reports to focus on deepened trade and collaboration in the agricultural sector, specifically related to rice. Further meetings during the trip will focus on naval collaboration, as these two countries have gained a reputation as peacekeepers in the hotly contested South China Sea. Continued naval collaboration will be beneficial to an open South China Sea, as both nations have experienced the assertive nature of Chinese claims in the region. These two powers have a long-standing relationship and further collaboration would have noticeable impacts on Chinese activity in the region.
Colin serves on the current developments team as a research analyst. He has previously published research on China and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Contributing regularly to the Daily Brief, Colin's areas of focus include China, climate change, and ASEAN.