ASEAN summit great opportunity to draw in more business to Philippines

2023 September 5

ASEAN SUMMIT-BOUND. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., together with First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos, leaves for Jakarta, Indonesia on Sept. 4, 2023 to participate in the 43rd ASEAN Summit and related summits from Sept. 5 to 7. House of Representatives Speaker Martin Romualdez on Tuesday (Sept. 5, 2023) said the ASEAN Summit is a great opportunity for the President to boost trade and investment between the Philippines and the association’s member countries. 

MANILA – House of Representatives Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez said Tuesday the 43rd ASEAN Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia is eyed as a great opportunity for President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to boost trade and investment between the Philippines and the association’s member countries.

“The ASEAN summit provides an excellent venue for President Marcos to showcase the distinct advantages the Philippines has as a trade and investment hub so as to create more jobs and business opportunities for the Filipino people,” Romualdez said.

He cited such legislative reforms as the amendment to the Public Service Act, Foreign Investment Act, and the Retail Trade Liberalization Act to further open up the Philippines to the entry of foreign investments, as well as incentives for investors under the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act (CREATE).

Romualdez noted that with a projected growth rate of 4.9 percent in 2024, the region continues to see increased intra-ASEAN trade and an influx of foreign direct investments.

He said the steady recovery of the region from the pandemic and its improving macro-economic fundamentals amid geo-political headwinds makes ASEAN a favored destination of foreign investments and the Philippines could capitalize on this trend for the benefit of the Filipino people.

Romualdez further noted that in addition to the 43rd ASEAN Summit, the Jakarta gathering of regional leaders would also include related summits of ASEAN with dialogue partners, such as the United States, China, Canada, Japan, South Korea, and the United Nations.

“These engagements are important venues for the President to also promote our national interest,” he said.

He pointed out that Marcos is expected to have bilateral meetings with other state leaders attending the ASEAN Summit, as well as separate engagements with Indonesian business leaders.

In his departure statement on Monday, Marcos said in his participation in the 43rd ASEAN Summit, he would highlight the need to promote a rules-based international order, including in the South China Sea.

The President was also quoted as saying that he would call attention to the other advocacies of the Philippines, such as strengthening food security, calling for climate justice, tapping the potential of the digital and creative economies, protecting migrant workers in crisis situations, and combating the crime of trafficking in person.

Zaldy De Layola (PNA)