The Philippines and Australia shored up their security and economic alliance Friday with the signing of a strategic partnership.
The agreement was finalised following a meeting between Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in Manila.
Albanese's visit, which marks the first bilateral talks with an Australian prime minister in Manila in 20 years, follows a series of trips by senior members of his government to the archipelago nation since Marcos took office in 2022.
Under a strategic partnership, the countries will seek to expand cooperation in several areas from defence and security to climate change and education.
"This elevation is an important symbol of the strength of our relationship and our shared commitment to do more together," Albanese told officials, diplomats and reporters.
"To have friends like you and partners like you especially on that subject is very gratifying and encourages us to continue down that path," Marcos told Albanese.
Albanese described the two countries as "great friends" and expressed hope that his visit would help take the relationship "to an even higher level".
Australia considers a strategic partnership to be the highest level of bilateral ties.