Vietnam, Philippines to strengthen cooperation

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Vietnam and the Philippines need to cooperate more closely in applying international laws to solve East Sea conflicts, Manila mayor Afredo Siojo Lim said in a meeting with Ho Chi Minh City authorities Tuesday, the Saigon Tiep Thi reported.


The newspaper quoted Lim as saying that the Philippines respects Vietnam's sovereignty over the Truong Sa (Spratly) Archipelago and hopes that all sea disputes will be solved in accordance with international laws.


The HCMC delegation also attended a ceremony on Tuesday marking the 35th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and the Philippines.


The leaders of both cities agreed to strengthen their cooperation in trade, education, health, culture and politics.


A conference on fostering cooperation between the two countries' businesses was organized Wednesday.


Two-way trade between the two countries increased to US$2.4 billion last year from $400,000 in 2001, the newspaper reported.


Filipino businesses have invested over $40 million in projects across HCMC, while Philippines Airlines has opened a route from Manila to HCMC, the report said.

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