Bongbong Marcos in Saudi Arabia for Asean-GCC summit

Bongbong Marcos in Saudi Arabia for Asean-GCC summit

By: - Reporter / @NCorralesINQ
/ 05:42 AM October 20, 2023

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. left for Saudi Arabia on Thursday morning to attend the inaugural summit of leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit in Riyadh, his 17th trip abroad since he assumed office on June 30 last year.

Philippine Airlines flight PR001 carrying the President and the Philippine delegation left the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City at 7:59 a.m. and arrived in Riyadh late Thursday afternoon.

‘Need for cooperation’

In his departure speech, the President said the summit would be an “important platform” to discuss “the challenges of major geopolitical developments and the comprehensive and concrete enhancement of our security, our economic progress and sociocultural collaboration.”


The summit, he said, would also be an opportunity to highlight the need for cooperation in energy and food security, logistics, supply chains, digital transformation, the free flow of goods, people and services, as well as the enhancement and protection of the rights of overseas Filipino workers.


“We will emphasize our advocacy for a rules-based international order to maintain peace and security, stability in our regions,” he said.

GCC countries, which consist of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, are home to about 2.2 million Filipino workers in various fields. In his two-day official visit in Saudi Arabia, the President said he would be meeting with the Filipino community in Riyadh “to share with them important developments here at home and to thank them for their invaluable contributions.”

READ: Bongbong Marcos leaves for Saudi Arabia

“We will see to it that our constructive engagement with Asean and our partners will continue to serve our national interest and the well-being of the Filipino people,” he said.

According to Mr. Marcos, he would present the controversial Maharlika Investment Fund to Middle Eastern investors, which he said would be “one of the important aspects” of his trip.

Presidential Communications Secretary Cheloy Velicaria-Garafil said Vice President Sara Duterte is the government’s caretaker while the President is abroad.


Mr. Marcos is scheduled to return to the Philippines early Saturday.

Aside from Garafil, among the Cabinet officials who joined the President’s trip were Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno, Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual and Foreign Secretary Enrique Manalo.

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TAGS: Bongbong marcos, Saudi Arabia, Summit

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