The Philippines and Sweden held their 3rd Bilateral Consultations in Stockholm on February 09. The meeting was co-chaired by Philippine Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Maria Zeneida Angara Collinson, Sweden’s State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Anika Söder, and by Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director General for Trade Eva Walder.
Representatives from the Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center and the Philippine Trade and Investment Center formed the Philippine delegation.
The two sides had extensive discussions covering bilateral, regional and international issues. On the West Philippine Sea/South China Sea issue, they agreed on the importance of peaceful settlement of maritime disputes in accordance with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Sweden recognized arbitration as a mode of peaceful settlement of disputes.
Both sides recognized the potential for further cooperation in trade and investments, renewable energy, urban transport and disaster risk reduction and management. Both expressed satisfaction with the positive developments in bilateral relations including the initialing of the Philippines-Sweden Social Security Agreement and the near conclusion of the Law Enforcement Cooperation Agreement between the Philippine National Police and the Swedish National Police.