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Marcos leaves for Belgium to attend ASEAN-EU Summit

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Sunday evening flew out to Brussels, Belgium to attend the Commemorative Summit between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the European Union (EU).

In a speech prior to his departure, Marcos said the Philippines will serve as the country coordinator between ASEAN and the EU, with discussions on global and regional security challenges, sustainable development, and economic cooperation.

“In addition to pursuing ASEAN’s interests as country coordinator for the EU, I will always certainly push for Philippine priorities within the context of the ASEAN-EU cooperation particularly in post-pandemic economic recovery and trade, maritime cooperation, and of course, climate action,” he said.

“Although I am representing the Philippines, I am now also representing all of ASEAN but nonetheless, as I have mentioned, Philippine interests will always enter into all of my discussions,” he added.

Marcos is scheduled to attend the 10th ASEAN-EU Business Summit on December 13, and the ASEAN-EU Commemorative Summit on December 14.

Aside from the Philippines, ASEAN member states include Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

During his trip Marcos is also set to hold bilateral talks with his counterparts from European countries, and meet with the Filipino community in Belgium.

“These events provide an opportunity to drum up economic interests once again, and engagement for the Philippines in view of the presence of key business leaders in Europe,” he said.

Earlier this month the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) said major European firms in the renewable energy sector are looking at entering the Philippine market in the coming year.

The Joint Foreign Chambers of the Philippines (JFC), which counts the ECCP as a member, targets $128 billion worth of foreign direct investments (FDI) into the country by the end of 2030.

Data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), however, show that FDI net inflows into the country fell by double-digits to $797 million in August, marking the fourth straight month of declines. — BM, GMA Integrated News