By Liezelle Soriano
MANILA — President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said he was “deeply honored” to attend the 40th and 41st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summits “as we continue our ASEAN community building efforts together.”
“We now can stand witness to how that small group has evolved not only in number but also in political strength and economic power. We now convene major powers and bring them to the table to discuss significant regional and international issues,” the President pointed out.
Marcos was also welcomed by ASEAN leaders as he was cited by leaders from Brunei, Singapore, Vietnam, and Thailand in their respective speeches.
The President cited ASEAN’s creation of a free trade zone with a combined gross domestic product as evidence of its strength economically.
Marcos also urged cooperation in resolving urgent issues that concern the ASEAN, its allies, and the entire world.
“In spite of our cultural, economic, and political diversity, let us enhance our solidarity as we confront the changing tides of natural disasters, health emergencies, armed conflict, and economic recessions,” Marcos pointed out.
With the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in place, Marcos said ASEAN is poised to recover well after the pandemic and “remains an attractive investment and production center of the global supply chain.”
The four-day Summits unfolded last Friday (10 Nov 2022) and will end on Sunday (13 Nov 2022).