PBBM underscores enhanced gov’t, private sector collab; cites EU an important ASEAN partner

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Tuesday highlighted the importance of collaboration between governments and private sectors “especially now that ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) member states are in a post-pandemic economic recovery and facing new challenges brought about by recent geopolitical tensions.”

“It is noteworthy to extend our appreciation to the ASEAN-EU (European Union) Business Council for its continued support and engagement with ASEAN, from the sectoral bodies up to the Leaders forum and at that level,” the President said in his closing remarks at the 10th ASEAN-EU Business Summit.

In his speech, the President congratulated the EU-ASEAN Business Council for the success of the 10th ASEAN-EU business summit.

President Marcos noted that the event has provided a platform for the much-needed dialogue between the EU and ASEAN, after the re-opening of borders with the easing of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The chief executive likewise acknowledged the pivotal role the EU-ASEAN Business Council plays in advancing ASEAN’s regional economic integration and post-pandemic economic recovery efforts, through various initiatives and valuable recommendations, which has been very useful in terms of prioritizing areas and initiatives for ASEAN’s regional economic integration.

“Through the ASEAN-EU Trade and Investment Work Programme, we hope to continue this momentum for 2023 and forward,” Marcos said.

The discussions undertaken during the day, the President said, will not only bring new impetus for both sides to bolster sustainable trade and investment but will also provide ways to fast-track the implementation of the EU’s strategy.

The President also mentioned that ASEAN has increased its presence on the global stage through its efforts on regional economic integration and supply chain resilience.

“The entry into force of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership or RCEP, the ongoing review of existing trade agreements, ASEAN’s initiatives to facilitate trade of essential goods demonstrates the region’s push to maintain an open, free, and fair trade,” Marcos said.

“Moreover, with the participation of ASEAN members in mega trade deals such as RCEP and Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), ASEAN is well-positioned to accelerate intra-regional trade and growth,” the chief executive added.

The President said ASEAN member countries continue to recognize the historical importance of the EU as a trade and investment partner to ASEAN.

“Thus, while the ASEAN-EU FTA (Free Trade Agreement) remains a common long-term objective, economic cooperation initiatives will be prioritized on areas of mutual interest in order to bridge the gap and realize this long-term objective,” Marcos said.

President Marcos urged his fellow leaders and business representatives to continue to strengthen trade and investment endeavors between the EU and ASEAN, in a bid to enhance economic integration between the two blocs.

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