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Bilateral relations with the Philippines
Australia and the Philippines celebrate the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations in 2021. Since 1946, our strong and enduring friendship with the Philippines has developed into a mature and wide-ranging partnership grounded in shared values of democracy, and a commitment to peace, security, and prosperity in our region. Our cooperation is extensive, covering political, economic, security, development, and education, all underpinned by strong people-to-people links.
A Philippine Presidential Proclamation declared 22 May 2016 and each year after as the Philippines-Australia Friendship Day, the day Australia opened a Consulate-General in Manila in 1946.
The Philippines’ commemoration of Australian Service Personnel for their contribution to the liberation of the Philippines in 1946, held on 20 October every year, is a reminder of our long-standing friendship and defence ties.
On 18 November 2015, the then Prime Minister Turnbull and then President Benigno Aquino III signed the Joint Declaration on Australia - The Philippines Comprehensive Partnership, an agreement to further deepen bilateral links between the two countries.
The close relationship serves us well as both countries seek to tackle the social and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In partnership with the Philippines, we have developed the Philippines COVID-19 Development Response Plan, which outlines how we are collaborating with the Philippines Government to help manage and recover from the pandemic. The plan focuses on strengthening health security, maintaining stability and promoting economic recovery.
Australia and the Philippines share common perspectives on many regional, economic and security issues. The two countries share a common interest in cooperating in regional affairs through fora such as the East Asia Summit (EAS), Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
The bilateral relationship is underpinned by regular high-level meetings, more recently conducted virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Foreign Minister Payne spoke with her counterpart, Philippine Foreign Secretary Locsin in April 2020, to discuss our mutual strategic and security interests, including the COVID-19 crisis. Both agreed the next Philippines Australia Ministerial Meeting (PAMM) would be held by mid-2021 to advance opportunities for further cooperation. Inaugural Foreign Ministry Consultations were held in August 2020 at senior officials’ level, to set the framework for the 2021 PAMM.
Other key meetings include the biennial Strategic Dialogue with Foreign and Defence ministries, the Trade, Industry and Investment Dialogue and annual Bilateral Consultations on Counter-Terrorism. These are complemented by annual joint defence cooperation consultations, an agriculture forum and high-level consultations on development cooperation
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