US Ambassador’s statement: Charting a course for our shared future

Ambassador Sung Kim

AMBASSADOR SUNG KIM: How do we ensure that our friendship, partnership, and alliance, forged over the past century, evolve to meet our needs a century from now?

Last week, the US Embassy brought together top US, Filipino, and regional experts to ask this very question.

The United States and the Philippines are Indo-Pacific countries. This region enjoys almost unparalleled levels of economic growth and expansion that offer remarkable opportunities to all of its nations. However, the Indo-Pacific faces manifold challenges that, left unchecked, could threaten regional stability and prosperity.

How do we effectively maximize the region’s potential while avoiding the perils that lie over the horizon?

I had the opportunity to open the two-day think tank conference on “The Future of the US-Philippines Relationship” with DFA Undersecretary Enrique Manalo and DND Undersecretary Cardozo Luna. In our remarks, we all agreed the best way to prepare our two countries for a promising but uncertain future is to do so together. Our long-standing ties have enabled us to achieve many shared successes. As the world changes, though, our relationship, too, must evolve to seize emerging opportunities and overcome unforeseen challenges.

The Indo-Pacific region lives under the strain of terrorist threats and extraterritorial claims backed by increasingly sophisticated and lethal military assets. Security cooperation continues to be a centerpiece of our relationship, and conference panelists heralded the importance of the alliance. They recommended that as domestic and regional threats change, we should continuously evaluate and assess our shared priorities.

Last month’s horrific attack in Jolo demonstrated the ongoing regional terrorist threat. I am proud we have been the Philippines’ staunchest counterterrorism partner. As these threats become more complex, conference panelists recommended we increase “whole of government” cooperation between local law enforcement, military, and border security counterparts. They also made several recommendations for combatting radicalization, including by developing stronger local leadership networks and improving local governance capacity.

Our bilateral commercial engagement has fueled growth and created jobs, but all economic panelists agreed we can do more — and they’re right. The global economy is constantly evolving. Old markets close while others emerge, and innovation makes once essential skills obsolete. How do we best position ourselves to unlock the potential in our economic relationship, sustain growth, and capitalize on future market trends?

Panelists urged continued government-to-government cooperation to facilitate greater trade and investment, possibly through a future Free Trade Agreement, while encouraging the US private …read more

Source:: Philippines lifestyle


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