President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said on Tuesday that he expects the leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to make an aggressive push to revitalize the region’s economy after being battered by multiple headwinds in the past few years.
In a media interview at the Meruorah Convention Center after he arrived in Indonesia to attend the 42nd ASEAN Summit and Related Summits, he said the summit agenda is geared towards making the region a “locomotive of the global economy” and at the same time reinvigorate its economy.
He pointed to the recent direction being made by the European Union (EU) and other global economies who are turning towards Asia, as the region appears to be adjusting better than other Western countries.
African and Middle Eastern countries are also doing well, he added.
“But tinitingnan din ang Southeast Asia and ASEAN and that’s what our subject matter will be is that how do we play the part that we want to play which is going to be the global – locomotive of the global economy,” the President told reporters.
“So I think all of those and the aspects of that ‘yun ang pag-uusapan, or at least in the Philippines’ case, ‘yun talaga ang pag-uusapan natin. But I predict that we will have the same idea in mind.”
The President said he is scheduled to have bilateral meetings with the leaders of Vietnam, Lao PDR, and Timor Leste on the sidelines of his attendance to the ASEAN Summit.
Timor-Leste, which is attending the ASEAN Summit for the first time as an observer, is moving towards becoming a member, he said, noting the importance of knowing its leader including that of Vietnam and Lao PDR.
“The Vietnamese Prime Minister bago. Hindi namin nakilala sa nakaraang mga ASEAN. Lao Prime Minister the same situation bago,” he said.
In his departure speech in Manila, the President said he will promote and protect the interest of the Philippines during the summit. | PND