Marcos Jr. administration

Jet-setter President: Things to know about Marcos’ international trips

Matthew G. Yuching, Paulyn Regalario

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Jet-setter President: Things to know about Marcos’ international trips
(1st UPDATE) President Marcos will be in the United Kingdom for the coronation ceremonies of King Charles III

MANILA, Philippines – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has wrapped up his tenth foreign trip as the Philippines’ chief executive following an official working visit to the US where he met with President Joe Biden.

Besides meeting with the US president and other Cabinet officials, Marcos was able to strike potential deals in military assets, a trade and investment mission, technology, health, and power, among others. (READ: What you need to know: Commitments made during Marcos and Biden’s bilateral meeting)

Including his current trip to the United Kingdom (UK) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Labuan Bajo, Indonesia right after, he will have taken 10 trips as president.

In all these trips so far, Marcos has been accompanied by First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos and family members who are elected officials. 

Let’s take a look at the countries Marcos has visited so far.

First flights

His first set of international trips brought him to Indonesia and Singapore (counted as one trip), from September 4 to 7, 2022.

During his visit to Indonesia, he signed a joint plan of action between the two nations, as well as agreements in the fields of defense and security, creative economy, and cultural cooperation. (LIST: Deals from Marcos’ Indonesia trip)

His trip to Singapore bore agreements on counter-terrorism efforts, information technology, property development, data privacy, and water collaboration. (LIST: Deals Marcos gov’t signed in Singapore)

The Philippines and Singapore also signed a joint communiqué on hiring Filipino healthcare workers.

Investments signed during the trips total P804.78 billion, according to Marcos.

In both countries, Marcos met with Filipino communities there the day he arrived.

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The UN General Assembly

Marcos made his international debut in New York in the United States during the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 21, 2022 (September 20, New York Time).

In his 20-minute speech, Marcos talked about the country’s bid for a seat in the UN Security Council, and expressed his commitment to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Climate change, food security, and the war in Ukraine were also taken up in his speech.

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Marcos met with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, US President Joe Biden, ex-British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and different business and economic groups.

He also watched an Eric Clapton concert and the Broadway show Into the Woods during the trip.

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Pit stop: Singapore Grand Prix

Marcos and his family made a surprise visit to the Singapore Formula 1 Grand Prix on October 2, 2022. Claiming that the visit also involved work, officials neither confirmed nor denied the trip until a few days after.

He had reportedly met with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Palauan President Surangel Whipps Jr., as well as other government officials from Singapore, Cambodia, and Saudi Arabia.

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ASEAN and APEC

Marcos was in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, from November 9 to 13, 2022, for the 40th and 41st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit. 

Besides the summit, he held bilateral meetings with Brunei as well as South Korea and talked with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

It was also during the Summit that the different member-states released a five-point consensus on the unrest in Myanmar, as well as agreeing “in principle” on the membership of Timor-Leste in the ASEAN.

He met with the Filipino community in Cambodia after the Summit, on November 13.

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His next trip came a few days after, this time for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Week in Bangkok from November 16 to 19, 2022. Marcos focused on food security, pandemic readiness, and climate change. 

Marcos had the opportunity to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping and French President Emmanuel Macron.

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In December, the President headed to Brussels, Belgium, for the ASEAN-European Union Summit. 

Marcos met with different European leaders and discussed topics like climate change, seafarer welfare, and trade. (FACT CHECK: Marcos Jr. didn’t meet Belgian King to withdraw $987 billion)

A courtesy to China

Marcos’ first trip of 2023 was a state visit to China from January 3 to 5. 

The trip led to an agreement between the two countries to establish official communication lines to resolve disputes over the West Philippine Sea.

Thirteen other agreements were signed, including bilateral deals on tourism, trade, and information.

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Winter wonderland at the WEF

The World Economic Forum, running from January 15 to 20 in Davos, Switzerland, was a gathering of economic and business leaders, along with heads of state and other government officials to discuss how to address global issues, as well as learn practices in leadership and management.

The forum, however, has been criticized for serving only as an elitist platform, with no concrete resolutions carried out after. The Philippine delegation reportedly had 70 people, according to Vera Files.

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To the Land of the Rising Sun

Marcos visited Japan from February 8 to 12. In an official working visit at the invitation of Japanese Prime Minster Fumio Kishida, the countries inked deals in the fields of defense and security, infrastructure, and agriculture.

The Philippine President also marketed “highly-skilled” seafarers who are ready to work with Japanese shipping companies.

“When you think growth, think Philippines,” Marcos said in a forum in Japan.

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The US and then the UK

On his second visit to the US from April 30 to May 4, 2023, Marcos, in an official working visit, had bilateral talks with US President Biden at the White House.

Aside from deals in military, infrastructure, and technology, Marcos pitched the idea of reinstating the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, which allows duty-free exports of specific products to the US. The Philippines’ inclusion in the deal expired in December 2020.

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Marcos arrived in the UK on May 5, for the King Charles III coronation ceremony on May 6.  – Rappler.com

(Disclaimer: We count the trips according to the number of times he exits the country, not the number of countries visited.)

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