RP ready for 12th ASEAN Summit
Quezon City (28 November) -- The Philippines is ready to host the 12th Summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Cebu City on Dec. 10-14.
"Everything is in place," Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia Victoriano Lecaros, who is also the 12th ASEAN Summit spokesman, said during a press conference at the Manila Hotel today (Nov. 28).
Ten ASEAN leaders from Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam will converge in Cebu City to discuss a wide range of issues such as trade, investments, security, including the all-out war against international terrorism, among others.
Lecaros said the series of meetings will be held in various venues such as the newly-built Cebu International Convention Center (CICC), Shangri-La's Mactan Island Resort and Spa, and Waterfront Hotel.
Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Luis T. Cruz, chief of the Office of ASEAN Affairs of the Department of Foreign Affairs, also said that 95 percent of documents to be submitted to the ASEAN leaders during the summit are now ready for signing.
"We will have one last look at the documents just before the leaders will sign them," Cruz said.
Director Ramon Vicente Kabigting of the Bureau of International Trade Relations said the forthcoming summit will serve as a "stimulus" for ASEAN countries to become competitive in the global market.
Jose Concepcion Jr., chair of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council, also said that definitely the summit will be an important benchmark to accelerate free trade within the region from 2010 to 2015.
Among the crucial topics to be discussed during the summit are:
- Measures to fight anti-terrorism;
- The six-nation talks to defuse the North Korea nuclear issue;
- Blueprint for the ASEAN Charter;
- Measures in combating HIV-AIDS; and
- Measures to protect migrant workers.