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PBBM now in Indonesia, hopes to solve ASEAN's 'unique' challenges

GOVERNANCE/POLITICS • 06:45 AM Wed May 10, 2023
Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos
President and Mrs. Marcos now in Indonesia. (PNA)

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. arrived in Indonesia on Tuesday afternoon to participate in the 42nd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Summits.

Marcos and the official Philippine delegation arrived at the Komodo Airport in Labuan Bajo, Indonesia at 4:54 p.m. via Philippine Airlines Flight PR 001, Presidential Communications Office Secretary Cheloy Garafil said in a statement.

"He (Marcos) was welcomed by Indonesian and Filipino officials," Garafil said.

In his official Facebook post, Marcos expressed hope that the 42nd ASEAN Summit would enable the 10 member-states to address regional challenges and keep up as the regional bloc is envisioned as a "hub for global economic growth."

"We are optimistic about our joint efforts to overcome challenges unique to Southeast Asia and to strengthen our position as a hub for global economic growth," Marcos said.

"At the 42nd ASEAN Summit, we will work towards finding solutions that champion ASEAN Centrality for the benefit of ASEAN countries and our partners," he added.

In his pre-departure statement delivered at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City on Tuesday morning, Marcos said his participation in the 42nd ASEAN Summit and Related Summits is an opportunity to promote and protect the Philippines' interests.

Marcos said he would also push for the continued efforts to sustain economic prosperity, attain food and energy security, boost trade and investments, address transnational crimes and protect distressed migrant workers.

Marcos and his fellow ASEAN leaders are also expected to discuss “pressing issues of common concerns," including developments in the West Philippine Sea, the situation in Myanmar and major power rivalries.

On Wednesday, Marcos would attend the Opening and Plenary Session, ASEAN Leaders’ Interface with Representatives of ASEAN-Interparliamentary Assembly (AIPA), and ASEAN Leaders’ Interface with Representatives of ASEAN Youth, Garafil said.

Marcos would also attend the ASEAN Leaders’ Interface with Representatives of ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-ABAC), ASEAN Leaders’ Interface with High-Level Task Force on ASEAN Community Post 2025 Vision (HLTF-ACV), and the welcome dinner hosted by Indonesian President Joko Widodo, this year’s summit chair.

Before returning to Manila on Thursday, Marcos would attend the 42nd ASEAN Retreat Session and the 15th Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines-East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) Summit.

Around 16 outcome documents are expected to be issued after the 42nd ASEAN Summit and Related Summits. (PNA)

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