La Reina en Filipinas
H.M. King Felipe VI receives the credentials of the new Philippine Ambassador, Philippe Lhuillier Jones, at the Royal Palace in June 2017
The Philippines and Southeast Asia
In recent years, bilateral relations have increased, both from a quantitative and qualitative perspective, and the political agenda with Southeast Asia countries has been intensified. The 2015 External Action Strategy set three priority countries of Spain's external policy in Southeast Asia: The Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam

In the Philippines, certain factors fostering a bilateral relation that is increasingly gaining importance have emerged in recent years, joining the traditional historical and cultural links. Among these two factors, the growing importance of contacts between civil societies, the coincidence of interests and objectives in multilateral forums, cooperation-with Philippines being the only country in that region which is a Country of the Spanish Cooperation Association-as well as the growing presence of Spanish companies stand out.
An important aspect of cooperation is the role Spain plays in the cooperation towards satisfactory achievement of the peace processes the Philippines is undergoing. Spain considers development cooperation an essential component in achieving peace. Spain cooperates with the Resilient Communities for Peace and Development (PAMANA) programme, implemented by the Government of the Philippines through the Office of Peace Processes, so that the communities affected by armed conflicts are empowered by means of economic integration. Spain has allocated part of its development cooperation in the areas of Mindanao and Bicol, where conflicts persist.
GOJUST is another important project, one of the most significant ones currently in operation. This project arose as a result of the Delegate Cooperation agreement signed with the EU, and is aimed at strengthening Philippines' judicial system. The Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) is developing the 4th component of said project, which is focussed on Human Rights.
Civil society dialogue is promoted through a bilateral meeting that is held every year, and which has become established as an essential instrument of bilateral relationships and of approximation between both societies. Businesspeople of both countries, scholars, members of universities and think-tanks, as well as representatives of the Autonomous Communities and City Halls participate therein. The 8th Meeting was held in the Philippines (in the city of Davao) in November 2016, with the participation of State Secretary Ignacio Ybáñez. The 9th meeting will be held in Spain in 2018.
 
Indonesia is an active member of G20. The world's most populous Muslim country plays a key role in ASEAN and has a consolidated democracy and a strong economy. In that country, Spain seeks to strengthen political bonds, increase agreement in multilateral forums, on the basis of certain common interest topics, such as interreligious dialogue, fight terrorism, reform of global financial architecture in the G20, as well as reinforce cooperation in the area of defence and increase corporate cooperation.
 
Spain was the first European country with which Vietnam established a Strategic Partnership in 2009; it is allowing both countries to strengthen their relationships and open new cooperation field. The goal is now to create links that unite us, promoting the presence of Spanish companies in Vietnam and increasing relationships in the field of defence. On 24 May 2017, Vietnam's Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pham Binh Minh, visited Spain.
 
On 31 December 2015, the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Community was established, as the most advanced regional integration process after the European Union, which allows it to reaffirm itself as a global player and reconfirm its central role in regional architecture processes in the Asia Pacific region. Several forums have arisen from ASEAN; among them, the ASEAN Regional Forum and the East Asia Summit, which will undoubtedly be strengthened with the creation of this Community. Spain follows the evolution of ASEAN with interest. The 31st Summit of ASEAN Heads of State or Government was held in November 2017, as well as other summits related to USA, China, United Nations or the EU. The Summit with the EU, in which the President of the Council Donald Tusk participated, also marked the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the European Union and ASEAN.
 
Spain continues to increase its diplomatic presence in that region. In 2014, an Office for Business was opened in Myanmar.


 

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