24 April 2013
President Benigno S. Aquino III, together with the nine other leaders of ASEAN member-countries, met in a working dinner hosted by this year’s chairman Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). Shortly after dinner, a meeting followed and discussions focused on the three pillars of the ASEAN Community namely, political security community, economic community and socio-cultural community.
President Aquino said that the leaders are interested in having a peaceful and calm resolution to the disputes on the West Philippine Sea and that he is happy Brunei made the issue a top priority in the summit. He added that “we should really be thankful that the whole ASEAN is willing to discuss this instead of putting it on the back burner.”
The deepening and strengthening of the economic integration within and outside the region is also one of the key issues in the summit’s agenda. The aim is to create a single market and production base as stated in the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), which has been at the center of ASEAN’s regional economic integration efforts. The AEC blueprint adopted by the leaders in 2007 serves as a master plan for the target.
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