BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte left Brunei for China Tuesday after wrapping up his first state visit to the sultanate.
During his three-day state visit to Brunei, both countries reaffirmed commitment in bolstering economic cooperation with each other.
In a speech during a state banquet for the visiting Philippine President at Istana Nurul Iman, Brunei's Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah said both countries' historical links and common heritage have paved the way for strong bilateral relations that are demonstrated through cooperation in various areas, including trade and investment, labour, defence, health, education and air services.
"Today, there remains much potential to be tapped in our economic cooperation," said the monarch, adding that this includes reinforcing collaboration in the energy sector and discovering new areas in the halal industry.
The monarch also expressed appreciation on the contribution of about 23,000 Filipino expatriates to Brunei's economy and development.
In his speech, Duterte expressed his "heartfelt gratitude" towards the Sultan for the 32 years of friendship and assistance accorded to the Philippines and its people.
Duterte also spoke on how both countries have faced various common challenges and overcome these obstacles.
"We have explored and forged several undertakings that further cemented our special relations. This cooperation will continue to be reinforced for the mutual benefit of our nations," Duterte said, adding that both countries have many opportunities to look forward to in working closely together to enhance peace, prosperity and progress.
"With the deep well of goodwill between our nations and peoples, I reiterate the resolve and commitment to value, protect and nurture our very special ties," Duterte said.
From Brunei, Duterte starts a four-day state visit to China on Tuesday.