How can Turkey and the Philippines maximize their gateway functions in the 21st century? This was former President Fidel V. Ramos’ question after Prime Minister Davutoğlu’s talk.  Prime Minister Davutoğlu replied that both countries can maximize their access to their surrounding regions to broaden their relations. The geographical distance between Turkey and the Philippines should not be seen as a barrier but rather as an asset to both economies. Turkey can be the Philippines’ gateway to Europe and likewise, the Philippines can be Turkey’s gateway to Asia.  Manila, for instance, can be a gateway for Turkey to engage ASEAN and East Asia. There is an increasing effort to encourage Turkish companies to be more active in Asia. Prime Minister Davutoğlu said he supports Philippine presence in Turkey and Turkish presence in the Philippines.

This was the second time that President Ramos attended the Mangrove Forum on International Relations since its inauguration in June of this year.