Villamor Air Base, Pasay City
May 9, 2023

“I will join other Leaders of ASEAN to advance our community-building efforts in the region and ensure the well-being and security of our people,” assured President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. as he left the country to participate in the 42nd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Labuan Bajo, Indonesia from May 9-11, 2023.

“My participation will serve to promote and protect the interests of our country, including our continued efforts towards economic growth, attaining food and energy security, promoting trade and investment, combatting transnational crimes such as the trafficking in persons and protecting migrant workers in crisis situations, amongst others,” the President continued in his departure statement at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City.

Apart from his attendance to the Summit, the Chief Executive will join his counterparts in the 15th Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) Summit, as well as in various interfaces of ASEAN Leaders with the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA), Representatives from the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC), ASEAN Youth and High-Level Task Force on the ASEAN Community Post 2025 Vision.

Chaired by President Joko Widodo of Indonesia, the 42nd ASEAN Summit bears the theme, ‘ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth,’ where ASEAN Leaders will touch on issues in maintaining internal peace in Southeast Asia amid rising geopolitical issues in the Indo-Pacific region while strengthening the regional bloc in becoming a fast-growing, inclusive and sustainable economic region.

“As the theme of this ASEAN Summit is clearly manifesting, it is once again towards economic growth and to recognize that ASEAN and Southeast Asia have been the partners that the other parts of the world, and I speak therefore of India, I speak of China, I speak of the European Union, the United States, Latin America, even some elements of Africa, look to Southeast Asia as the growth center for the global economy,” President Marcos Jr. added.

“That is why it is very important that we go and continue to discuss amongst other ASEAN Leaders of all the Member States on how we can maximize and find that extra energy, that synergy from our working together,” he ended in his message.

The ASEAN Leaders are also set to adopt a roadmap for Timor-Leste’s full membership in ASEAN, making it the 11th ASEAN Member. Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak of Timor-Leste is expected to attend the 42nd ASEAN Summit as an observer for the first time.

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