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Marcos talks with Italian and ASEAN envoys to discuss strengthening ties.

MANILA, Philippines — On Monday, incoming President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. met separately with ambassadors from Italy and various ASEAN countries to discuss expanding bilateral relations between the Philippines and their respective countries.

The ambassadors sent their heads of state congratulations on his win and expressed their desire to improve bilateral and diplomatic relations between the Philippines and their respective countries.

Ambassadors of Brunei Darussalam and Italy, respectively, Her Excellency (H. E.) Johairah Wahab and His Excellency (H. E.) Marco Clemente, began the day’s series of official visits.

Wahab, who is the Dean of ASEAN Ambassadors, then led Thawat Sumitmo, Thailand’s Charge d’Affaires, and Ambassadors H.E. Songkane Luangmuninthone, Lao People’s Democratic Republic; and H.E. Agus Widjojo, Indonesia; H.E. Phan Peuv, Cambodia; H.E. Hoang Huy Chung, Vietnam; and H.E. Gerard Ho, Singapore, to

One of the areas of collaboration considered was the Covid-19 response, which included an exchange of economic and health-care measures targeted toward post-pandemic recovery, which was one of Marcos’ campaign pledges.

Marcos also emphasized the possibility of more infrastructure collaboration, citing the existing participation of countries like China in the outgoing government of President Rodrigo Duterte’s “Build, Build, Build” program.

The Italian ambassador, for his part, talked about his plans to improve people-to-people collaboration by bringing the Inter-Milan football club to the Philippines through an inter-campus project in the hopes of aiding children in need while also promoting football in the Philippines.

Marcos and the ambassadors also agreed to broaden diplomatic ties, not just between governments, but also between businesses and the private sector.

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