PH, Indonesia push for equitable growth

Posted at 05/23/14 1:59 PM

MANILA - Amid glowing reviews of the Philippine economic performance under his watch, President Aquino concedes more needs to be done for equitable growth.

This, after an expanded bilateral meeting with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in Malacanang today.

In a joint statement, Aquino said: "We both share the belief that much more can be done to maximize the prospects of equitable growth."

For his part, Yudhoyono congratulated the Philippines for its economic growth. In his World Economic Forum speech Thursday, Yudhoyono said: "It doesn't matter how many billionaires and millionaires emerge so long as those at the economic bottom also get a ladder to a better life of opportunity and progress."

"Economic growth and equitable progress are not necessarily the same thing."

Aquino thanked Indonesia for its assistance in the aftermath of supertyphoon Yolanda.

He said climate change is another common concern not only for Indonesia and the Philippines but for the entire ASEAN region.

"The vulnerabilities we face cannot be addressed by our nations alone; what is needed is enhanced cooperation and a firm resolve to tread the path to sustainable development for all our peoples. And we took this opportunity also to express our undying gratitude to His Excellency, the President; the government of Indonesia; and the people of Indonesia, for their very generous and timely assistance when we were beset by our own typhoon Haiyan, or Yolanda. We also thanked President Yudhoyono for his personal efforts to raise awareness as regards the humanitarian concerns brought about by Haiyan," the President said.

Aquino congratulated President Yudhoyono on Indonesia's upcoming hosting of the 24th World Economic Forum on East Asia, and for the Global Statesmanship Award-the first for an Asian leader-which he will receive from the World Economic Forum.

The joint statement was preceded by the signing of three agreements. The first two agreements are:

- the agreement between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of Republic of Indonesia concerning the delimitation of the exclusive economic zone boundary;

- The Memorandum of Understanding between the Commission on Higher Education of the Republic of the Philippines and the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Indonesia on Higher Education Cooperation

The third agreement is the Memorandum of Understanding between the Anti-Terrorism Council of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Counter Terrorism Agency of the Republic of Indonesia on combating international terrorism.

The agreement aims to enhance counter terrorism cooperation between the officials of security, defense, intelligence and law enforcement agencies of the Philippines and Indonesia.