President Benigno Aquino 3rd will hold a bilateral meeting with visiting Myanmar President Thein Sein in Malacanang on Thursday.
Thain Sein, who arrived in Manila Wednesday afternoon, will lay a wreath at the Rizal Monument at the Luneta before proceeding to Malacañang.
Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the two leaders will discuss issues of mutual concern, particularly in the areas of trade and investment, agriculture, energy, cultural exchanges and information cooperation.
They will then sign several agreements covering a broad spectrum of concerns, including trade and investments, food security and agriculture, renewable energy and information cooperation, Coloma said.
Representatives from the chambers of commerce and industries of the two countries will also sign an agreement to expand business opportunities and trade relations, he added.
The Myanmar Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief, and Resettlement and the Department of Social Welfare and Development will exchange notes on the turnover of Myanmar’s donation for the victims of the Central Visayas earthquake and typhoon Yolanda.
President Aquino will host a state luncheon in honor of Thein Sein.
The Myanmar leader will visit the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Los Baños, Laguna, and Cebu to explore investment opportunities in the agriculture. He will also visit some typhoon-affected areas.
It is Thein Sein’s first visit to the Philippines since assuming the presidency in 2011. The last time a head of state from Myanmar visited the Philippines was in 2005 when Prime Minister Soe Win visited Manila.
Aquino and Thein Sein had their first bilateral meeting in Nay Pyi Taw on June 7, at the World Economic Forum on East Asia hosted by Myanmar. It will be the Philippines turn to host the forum in 2015.
The Philippines and Myanmar established diplomatic relations in 1956 and will celebrate the 60th anniversary of their relations in 2016.
CATHERINE S. VALENTE