NAY PYI TAW, Myanmar (PNA) — President Benigno S. Aquino III is set to arrive here Saturday afternoon to join fellow leaders of member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for its 24th summit.
A busy schedule awaits President Aquino, who is leading the Philippine delegation to the annual meeting, to be held on May 10-11 at the Myanmar International Convention Center (MICC-1) in Nay Pyi Taw.
This year’s summit theme is “Moving Forward in Unity to A Peaceful and Prosperous Community,” which emphasizes the importance of a united ASEAN.
Upon arrival at Myanmar’s capital, President Aquino will join other leaders at the welcome dinner to be hosted by Myanmar President U Thein Sein for all ASEAN leaders and their delegations attending the summit.
On Sunday, the President is scheduled to attend the ASEAN Summit Plenary, the Summit Retreat, and meetings with representatives of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly, the Civil Society Organizations, and the ASEAN Youth.
In an interview with PBS-RTVM, Philippine Ambassador to Myanmar Alex Chua said preparations for an integrated ASEAN will be in the summit agenda.
“I believe that during these meetings, our leaders will discuss the various preparations being made to realize an integrated ASEAN that aims to benefit the people in the region, including Filipinos in Myanmar, in terms of unimpeded movement of people, goods, and services in the region,” Chua said.
He said the summit also provides a venue for President Aquino to raise awareness of the country’s priorities in the region.
“As we move towards a more integrated ASEAN, it is important for the Philippines to create awareness of the country’s priorities in the region, such as maritime security and the need to focus on micro, small, and medium enterprises, among others. The 24th ASEAN Summit provides a venue for the President to do that,” Chua said.
After the ASEAN meetings, President Aquino will also participate in the 10th Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) Summit here.
The President is expected to return to Manila on Sunday evening. (PNA) LAM/PCOO/UTB