Davao International Airport, Davao City
March 19, 2017

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte highlighted in his departure speech that his official visit to the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and the Kingdom of Thailand will indicate the important role of the Philippines as this year’s host of the Association of Southeast Nations (ASEAN) Summit as he completes his visit to other ASEAN member-states.

“These are timely meetings as our country prepares to host the 30th ASEAN Summit and related meetings in Manila this April,” he said, adding that he would meet Myanmar’s President U Htin Kyaw and hopes to discuss matters regarding combatting traditional and emerging transnational crimes, development for the people, bilateral trade and investment between the two countries.

President Duterte is also set to meet with State Counsellor and Foreign Minister Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Commander-in-Chief of Defense, Senior General Ming Aung Hlaing.

“Myanmar is our ASEAN neighbor and friend with whom we’ve had relations for more than six decades now. My visit will underscore our commitment to deepen partnership with Myanmar towards brighter and better future,” the President stressed.

On the other hand, President Duterte stated the importance of his visit to Thailand saying that, “It is fitting that as Chair of ASEAN, I make this important trip to a co-founder of ASEAN in the capital where the foundation of ASEAN was laid 50 years ago.”

The President said that he alao looks forward in meeting Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to discuss defense relations, trade and investment, and enhancing education cooperation.

“In both Myanmar and Thailand, I welcome the importance of meeting our kababayan who have been key partners in program for positive change and reform in our government,” President Duterte said referring to the Filipino communities in both countries.

“I remain humbly your President who will look after our nation’s interests as I seek to pursue the collective objectives of the ASEAN region. We will strengthen partnerships for positive change as we engage our region and the world,” the President said as he ended his speech.

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