News Release

PBBM to attend ASEAN-Australia Special Summit next week; to meet with OFWs, business communities

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. is set to leave for Australia next week to participate in the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit, which is expected to pave the way for the Philippines to present its core position on regional and international issues.

Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Assistant Secretary for ASEAN Affairs Daniel Espiritu said in a Malacañang press briefing that President Marcos will attend the summit on March 4 to 6 in Melbourne, Australia upon the invitation of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

“As the first ASEAN leaders level engagement for the year, the summit presents an opportunity for us to present the Philippines’ core position on regional and international issues and set the tone for dialogue partner summits later in the year, especially in October,” Espiritu told reporters.

Espiritu said there will be two main engagements on the summit proper on March 6.

One of the engagements is the Leaders’ Plenary where leaders will review ASEAN-Australia cooperation through the years and propose ways to further bolster relations, according to Espiritu.

President Marcos is expected to thank Australia for its support for the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea ratified in 1982 and the 2016Arbitral Award for the Philippines over its maritime dispute against China and to highlight ASEAN-Australia Cooperation on maritime issues, climate and clean energy track, people-to-people exchange, and the economic cooperation during the leaders’ plenary.

Espiritu said the second engagement is the Leaders’ Retreat where the leaders will exchange views on key geopolitical developments and “issues affecting the Philippine and the world.”

He said the President is expected to encourage Australia to remain committed to the peaceful resolution of disputes and to maintain respect for the rules-based international order and multilateralism during the second engagement of the summit.

The President will also attend “working level events” organized by Australia such as the maritime cooperation track where Secretary Enrique Manalo is expected to deliver keynote remarks together with Foreign Minister Penny Wong.

Representatives from the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will also participate in the working level discussions.

“Then, there’s the emerging leaders track where Australia intends to foster people-to-people ties among ASEAN and Australia’s young leaders, to this, we’ll be invited young Filipino CEOs to engage civil society, government and business sectors of ASEAN and Australia,” Espiritu added.

President Marcos will also meet with the Filipino community in Melbourne on the sidelines of the summit as he will also meet the business community for the “Philippine Business Forum” led by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

There will also bilateral meetings with Cambodia and New Zealand, according to Espiritu. PND