MANILA, Philippines – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. outlined what to expect from the Philippines’ participation in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations-European Union summits in Brussels, Belgium, before he flew out of the country on Sunday evening, December 11.
The ASEAN-EU Commemorative Summit, to be held on Wednesday, December 14, celebrates 45 years of relations between the two blocs. In his departure statement, Marcos said the summit will involve “in-depth discussions on the most relevant issues concerning both regional organizations” such as global and regional security, sustainable development, and economic cooperation, among others.
The Philippines has been the ASEAN-EU country coordinator since 2021, and will stay in that role until 2024.
This is Marcos’ first visit to Europe as Philippine leader.
“In addition to pursuing ASEAN’s interests, as country coordinator for the EU, I will always as certainly push for Philippine priorities within the context of the ASEAN-EU cooperation, particularly in post-pandemic economic recovery, trade, maritime cooperation, and of course, climate action,” said Marcos.
The President is also set to attend the 10th ASEAN-EU Business Summit on Tuesday, December 13, where country leaders will meet with guests from the private sector. As country coordinator, Marcos will deliver the closing remarks at the C-Suite luncheon and at the business summit proper.
“These events will provide an opportunity to drum up economic interests once again and engagement for the Philippines in view of the presence of key business leaders in Europe,” said Marcos.
The President will also pay a courtesy call on Belgium’s King Philippe, and hold bilateral talks with some European leaders, such as his counterparts from Estonia, Czech Republic, Spain, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Finland, and the Netherlands.
Marcos will also meet with the Filipino community in Belgium.
“Although I am representing the Philippines, I am now also representing all of ASEAN. But nonetheless, as I have mentioned, Philippine interests will always enter into all my discussions,” said Marcos.
The President is expected to stay in Brussels until Wednesday. – Rappler.com