President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is in Indonesia today for the 42nd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Labuan Bajo, high in the hope there would be productive engagements with his counterparts in the economic alliance.
He returned recently from a week-long visit in the United States, where he met with US President Joe Biden, and the United Kingdom for the coronation of King Charles 3rd. .
The ASEAN Summit will kick off with an opening ceremony today, followed by a plenary session.
“A series of interfaces among ASEAN leaders and representatives and/or delegates of relevant ASEAN bodies are scheduled on the same day,” Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Teresita Daza told Palace reporters earlier on.
The 65-year-old President is expected to join other ASEAN leaders in various discussions on community building efforts and various pressing issues in the region.
In his departure statement Tuesday, Mr. Marcos said: “I look forward to our productive engagements, to our always productive engagements with our ASEAN partners.
“This is a continuation of the process that we had begun where deriving from the idea and the principle and the concept of ASEAN Centrality in the face of the challenges we have to answer not only as single nations but as this political (alliance) that is ASEAN.”
Many heard him say his participation will serve to promote and protect the interest of the country, including efforts towards economic growth, attaining food and energy security security, promoting trade and investment, combating transnational crimes like the trafficking in persons, and protecting migrant workers in crisis situations.
During the summit, ASEAN leaders are expected to exchange views on pressing issues of common concerns like the developments in the South China Sea, the situation in Myanmar, and major power rivalry in the Asia-Pacific region.
The chief executive stressed that joining regional summits like this one gives him optimism as “there seems to be a very clear area of commonality” among member nations.
“I am always optimistic because all the interactions that we have had with the different leaders of ASEAN member states and for that matter APEC and all the APEC Plus conferences that we’ve had there seems to be a very clear area of commonality,” he said.
Mr. Marcos will also participate in the 15th Brunei Darussalam–Indonesia–Malaysia–Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA), as well as various interfaces with ASEAN leaders with the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary assembly and representatives of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council, ASEAN Youth and the High-Level Task Force on the ASEAN Community Post 2025 Vision.
We know he will have the opportunity to highlight the importance of strengthening cooperation in the BIMP-EAGA sub-region to sustain its thriving economy; the strong partnership between the executive and legislative bodies of ASEAN; the role of private sector and the youth in advancing growth and shaping the future of the ASEAN Vision.