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In the 42nd ASEAN conference, PBBM will advance and defend Philippine interests.

Before attending the 42nd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Indonesia from May 10 to 12, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. highlighted the significance of advancing and safeguarding Philippine interests on Tuesday.

Marcos stated in his pre-departure speech at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City that he would discuss several topics with his fellow ASEAN leaders, including efforts to maintain economic prosperity, achieve food and energy security, increase trade and investments, address transnational crimes, and protect migrant workers in need.

By Indonesia’s chairmanship theme of “ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth,” Marcos said, “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.”

He continued, “My participation will serve to promote and protect the interests of our country, including our continued efforts towards economic growth, achieving food and energy security, promoting trade and investment, combating transnational crimes like the trafficking in persons, and protecting migrant workers in emergencies, among others.

The West Philippine Sea developments, the situation in Myanmar, and significant geopolitical rivalry are only a few of the “pressing issues of common concerns” that Marcos stated he and his fellow Southeast Asian leaders would discuss.

Profound engagements

The 10 ASEAN member states have a “very clear area of commonality,” particularly regarding their ambition for sustained economic growth, said Marcos, who expressed optimism that he will have “productive engagements” with the nine other ASEAN presidents.

He emphasized that the Southeast Asian region has been seen by non-ASEAN members like China, the United States, and the European Union as a “growth center for the global economy” and that this ASEAN Summit is again toward economic growth.

“And for that reason, we must continue to discuss with other ASEAN leaders from all the member states how we can harness the additional energy and synergy that comes from working together,” Marcos said.

The 15th Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines-East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) Summit will also be attended by Marcos.

Additionally, he would take part in a series of interactions between the leaders of Southeast Asia and the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA), ASEAN Youth, and the High-Level Task Force on the ASEAN Community Post-2025 Vision.

During these meetings, Marcos said, “We will have the chance to highlight the importance of strengthening cooperation in the BIMP-EAGA subregion to sustain its thriving economy, the strong partnership between the executive and legislative bodies of ASEAN, the pivotal role of the private sector and the youth in advancing the growth and shaping the future, as well as the future direction of the ASEAN Vision.”

A bilateral meeting with Timor-Leste’s leaders to discuss their potential participation in ASEAN was another goal of Marcos’.

Taur Matan Ruak, the prime minister of Timor-Leste, is anticipated to participate at the 42nd ASEAN Summit for the first time as an observer.

The 10 Southeast Asian leaders are anticipated to establish a roadmap for ASEAN’s full membership during this year’s summit following the approval of Timor-Leste’s application to become the organization’s 11th member in 2022.

Southeast Asian leaders can discuss and exchange ideas on significant regional issues during the ASEAN Summit. They can also agree on subjects of shared interest and lay out the policy direction for ASEAN community-building initiatives.

The regional bloc is expected to be strengthened to become a rapidly expanding, inclusive, and sustainable economic region. The leaders of Southeast Asia are also expected to debate measures to maintain domestic peace in the region despite the developing geopolitical challenges in the Indo-Pacific region.

Around 16 outcome documents are anticipated from the 42nd ASEAN Summit and Related Summits.

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