THE bilateral relationship be-tween the Philippines and Brunei Darussalam is excellent and there is much that can be learnt from their cooperation, including in the Halal industry.

This was said by Alan Peter Cayetano, the Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs, during a session organised as part of the first Asean Media Forum (AMF), in Manila, the Philippines on August 4.

Jointly organised by the Asean Secretariat and the Deutsche Gessellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), in consultation with the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs, the AMF was held as part of the commemorative activities celebrating the 50th anniversary of Asean.

The AMF was aimed at providing a platform for Asean to convey key messages of its goals, achievements and challenges to top media leaders, while at the same time, allows for engagement, discussion and debate on topical and timely international issues which affect the region.

The highlight of the forum was a ‘Conversation with the Asean Chair’ hosted by the Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs.

During the session, the Secretary of Foreign Affairs responded to a question from the Bulletin pertaining to the relationship between the Philippines and Brunei Darussalam.

“The Philippines has very good bilateral relations with Brunei,” he said, noting a very special friendship between the two countries.

“We are in debt to our Asean brothers and sisters in countries where there is a Muslim majority which includes, of course, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei. Because of their help, we are able to manage the problem in Mindanao.

“So the cooperation is there. Many of those who are helping us in the peace process are Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei.”

He added, “There are a lot of things we can learn from our cooperation, like the Halal industry, both for our local population and as we develop our agriculture.”