SINGAPORE: Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr will deliver the keynote address at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on Friday (May 31), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said in a press statement.

This would make him the first Philippine head of state to do so at Asia’s top defence summit.

The Shangri-La Dialogue – which is in its 21st edition this year – brings together top defence officials from around the world to discuss critical security challenges.

Previous keynote speakers include then-Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

Mr Marcos Jr, who is in the country from Wednesday to Saturday, will be accompanied by his wife, First Lady Louise Araneta-Marcos, and a high-level Philippine delegation.

During his visit, Mr Marcos Jr will call on Singapore President Tharman Shanmugaratnam, said MFA.

He will also meet newly-minted Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong as well as Mr Lee, who is now Senior Minister. 

Mr Marcos Jr previously visited Singapore in September 2022 at the invitation of former President Halimah Yacob. It was his first state visit to the country since taking office in June.

Singapore and the Philippines also signed several bilateral agreements during the visit to boost cooperation in areas such as counterterrorism, the digital field and personal data protection.

Mr Marcos Jr visited Singapore again last September to speak at the 10th Asian Summit organised by the US-based Milken Institute. He also stayed on to watch the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix 2023.

This year marks the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. 

During a working visit to the Philippines in April, Singapore Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs Enrique Manalo unveiled a logo to commemorate the milestone. 

Dr Balakrishnan said then that Singapore and the Philippines are keen on strengthening collaboration in areas such as the green economy, smart and sustainable infrastructure, as well as innovation.


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