Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte said he might visit Vietnam "between the end of the year or maybe early next year," his spokesperson has said.
He had "responded very positively" to Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc's invitation for him to visit Vietnam during their bilateral meeting on Tuesday in Laos, local media quoted Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella as saying.
The meeting was held on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit currently being held in Vientiane.
According to Abella, during a “very positive exchange” the two leaders agreed that there must be freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.
They agreed that navigation "should not just be confined to a particular area–it should be shared as it has always been shared,” Abella was quoted as saying said.
PM Phuc also encouraged Philippine businesses to "invest more, have more trade" in Vietnam, as well as "made a long-term commitment” to provide rice for the Philippines, Abella said.