Philippine president leaves for Saudi Arabia to attend ASEAN-GCC summit

Manila, Oct 19 (UNI) Philippine President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos left for Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Thursday morning to participate in the inaugural summit between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) leaders.

In his departure speech, Marcos said the summit on Friday will discuss “the challenges of major political developments and concrete enhancement of our security, our economic progress and socio-cultural collaboration after more than 30 years of ASEAN-GCC relations.”

“This (summit) is particularly important because this is the first interaction between ASEAN and the GCC, both of whom are very vibrant regions in terms of economic development for the globe,” said Marcos, stressing the need for the Philippines to be part of the discussions.

According to Marcos, the summit will serve as an important platform for the Philippines to highlight the need for cooperation in energy and food security, logistic, supply chains, digital transformation, the free flow of goods, people, and services, as well as the protection of Filipino workers. An estimated 2.2 million Filipinos are “working in critical fields” in GCC countries.

The relationship between the ASEAN and the GCC dates back to 1990. The GCC comprises Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates. ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

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