By Genalyn Kabiling
President Duterte has embarked on a weeklong trip to Singapore and Papua New Guinea to attend annual summits aimed at fostering closer regional ties.
The President left Davao City Monday afternoon for a flight to Singapore where he will attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit from November 12 to 15.
From Singapore, Duterte will travel to Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea to participate in the Asia Pacific Cooperation (APEC) summit on November 16 to18.
“The 33rd ASEAN Summit in Singapore will be an opportunity for the Philippine government to join in discussions pertaining to the progress of the ASEAN Community blueprints and in bringing ASEAN closer to the realization of a people-centered ASEAN Community,” Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said.
“Similarly, the related summits in Singapore will give the President the chance to witness the progress of ASEAN’s relations with its dialogue partners, with the goal of fostering deeper cooperation on priority areas including peace, security, economy, and overall well-being of our people,” he said.
On November 13, the President is expected to attend the opening ceremony of the ASEAN summit, followed by a meeting with the ASEAN Business Advisory Council and a working dinner for the ASEAN leaders hosted by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore.
Duterte will also join other leaders for the ASEAN Summit Plenary session afterwards.
On November 14, the ASEAN leaders would hold summits with leaders from dialogue partners including Australia, China, Republic of Korea, Russia, and Japan.
The leaders would also take part in the Second Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) summit to discuss the progress in the negotiations of the document, according to Panelo.
A cocktail reception and gala dinner will be held at the end of the second day.
On November 15, ASEAN leaders will also hold summit talks with India and the United States , followed by the ASEAN+3 dialogue and the East Asia Summit .
From Singapore, Duterte will join 20 Pacific Rim leaders for the annual economic summit in Papua New Guinea. He is expected to return to country on November 18.