Arrival Statement of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. upon His return from His Participation in the ASEAN-Australia Summit in Melbourne, Australia

Event Arrival Statement from Participation in the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen; fellow workers in government; and Members of the Press.

I have just arrived from Melbourne, Australia where I attended the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit to Commemorate 50 years of ASEAN-Australia Relations. We have met with ASEAN Leaders and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

The Summit provided an opportunity to discuss regional and international issues and how ASEAN and individual member states such as the Philippines may contribute to the peace, security, and prosperity of our immediate neighborhood: the Indo-Pacific.

As a commemorative summit, it also provided a chance to take stock of how the ASEAN-Australia relationship has progressed in the last fifty years [and] how we may, together, move forward as we advance common values such as peace, environmental stewardship, and how mutual economic progress benefits both Australia and ASEAN.

The sidelines of the Summit also provided a venue to promote Philippine interests. I met with Australian business leaders and also launched the expansion of the Victoria International Container Terminal (VICT), a subsidiary of the International Container Terminal Services Incorporated (ICTSI) here in the Philippines.

I am confident that linkages are created through this engagement led by our Department of Trade and Industry.

We reinforced the growing interest of Australia to invest in the Philippines. This interest is confirmed in Australia’s Southeast Asia Economic Strategy to 2040 where four (4) key sectors were identified as investment priorities in the Philippines, to wit, agriculture and food, education and skills, resources, and green transition.

We secured 12 business agreements in the total sum of USD 1.53 billion worth of investments covering diverse sectors such as renewable energy, clean technology, and recycling solutions, housing, IT-BPM infrastructure, medical devices, and digital health services.

We received strong commitments from some Australian companies in support of our renewable energy and digitalization initiatives.

Their strong interest is an indication that we are on the right track to position ourselves as a hub for smart and sustainably-driven manufacturing and services.

I have made it a priority of our government to advance Philippine national interest in engaging external partners.

This Summit provided an avenue to discuss our key positions not only with our other Leaders, but also the Australian public.

In addition to my address at the Parliament the preceding week, on the sidelines of the Summit,
I had the honor of delivering a keynote speech at the Lowy Institute where I delivered a foreign policy speech on the Philippines’ perspective on Peace and Resilience Amidst great Power Rivalries.

I met with the Prime Ministers of New Zealand and Cambodia and we exchanged views on matters affecting our respective countries and the region.

I also met with our vibrant Filipino Community here in Melbourne. I recognized their positive contributions to both Australia and the Philippines and called our kababayans to support our agenda for social and economic transformation through Bagong Pilipinas.

This ASEAN-Australia Special Summit is the first Leader-level engagement under the Chairmanship of Lao PDR and I am confident that we have set the right tone for regional discussions for the year.

My administration remains strongly committed to continuing constructive engagements with ASEAN and Australia to best serve our national interest, inasmuch as we tirelessly promote the region’s peace, security, stability, and prosperity, for the well-being of the Filipino people.

Maraming salamat po.