Commentary: 12th ASEAN Summit further propels positive economic outlook
By Henry S. Lagasca
San Fernando City, La Union (11 January) -- To close ranks for a safer and more progressive region is a great challenge and opportunity to curve out new directions of global cooperation and consensus for everyone’s benefit.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, chairperson of the 12th Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) Summit is committed to exercise her crucial role toward this noble end. The Philippines hosts the ASEAN summit from January 10-15 in Cebu to plan for a great future in East Asia as “a caring and sharing community”.
The Arroyo administration fully supports the organizers of the ASEAN summit and spares no efforts to ensure its success.
The Philippines first hosted the ASEAN summit in Manila in 1987 and over the years, ASEAN has contributed immensely to the regional stability and reducing tension in the East Asian region.
Established in 1967 in Bangkok, Thailand, the Philippines is one of the five founding member countries of ASEAN together with Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
Recognizing that ASEAN played an important role in both economic development and peace and order in the region, five other Asian countries joined the regional grouping which include Brunnei, Vietnam, Lao Democratic Republic, Myanmar (Burma) and Cambodia.
ASEAN leaders are expected to forge an agreement on various initiatives that will further bolster bilateral cooperation to benefit 570 million people, ASEAN’s total population which is almost a tenth of the 6 billion world population.
One positive outcome of the 5-day summit is a unique religious tone, the celebration of the “Sinulog Festival” honoring Infant Jesus.
The world, particularly in East Asia, is on watch every hour of the day as the 10-member countries will further discuss collective strategies to accelerate economic momentum and in mopping up all forms of instability.
President Arroyo has taken a decisive stand by putting the Philippines in the world map that mirrors good governance and balanced economy in record time despite political noise.
The Philippines is committed to do its share totally when President Arroyo assured all our allies in East Asia to crush terrorists so the momentum of economic growth would not be hampered by these security threats.
The hosting of this year’s ASEAN summit is considered as the country’s big investment to provide a highly positive economic outlook not only for the Philippines but the entire East Asia and our trading partners in the world. (PIA 1) [top]