Marcos arrives in Brussels for Asean-EU Summit

BRUSSELS  — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. arrived here on Monday morning to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations-European Union (Asean-EU) Commemorative Summit, his seventh official trip abroad since assuming office on June 30.

The president and his official delegation aboard PR001 arrived at the Abelag Aviation Private Hangar at 9:53 a.m. (Philippine time).

Joining Marcos on his trip are former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Undersecretary Cheloy Velicaria-Garafil of the Office of the Press Secretary, Information and Communications Technology Secretary Ivan John Uy, Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo, Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual, Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno, and Sen. Mark Villar.

On his first day here, the President will meet with the Filipino community. Belgium is home to 5,647 overseas Filipino workers, who are mostly domestic helpers.

On his second day, Marcos is scheduled to have a meeting with European businessmen where he is expected to secure at least P6.2 billion in investment pledges.

The biggest investment will come from British multinational company Unilever, which will establish a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility for personal care products in Cavite worth P4.7 billion.

Marcos will also have a meeting with OCEA, a shipbuilding, navigation, and logistics company, which intends to develop a shipyard in the Philippines with an investment of P1.5 billion.

On his third day here, the president will deliver a speech at the opening ceremony of the Asean-EU Commemorative Summit.

Daniel Espiritu, foreign assistant secretary for Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Affairs, said in a press briefing on Friday that Marcos would discuss post-pandemic and economic recovery during the summit.

On the sidelines of the summit, the chief executive will also hold about 10 bilateral meetings with other countries, including Spain, Denmark, Germany, and the Czech Republic.

Marcos will also meet with the King Philippe of Belgium as Manila and Brussels mark their 76th year of diplomatic relations this year.

Espiritu said Marcos would also raise regional and international issues, which include the maritime row in the South China Sea, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and climate change, among others.

The DFA official said the president would also discuss with EU leaders the issue of Filipino seafarers who are at risk of losing their jobs after the EU flagged the Philippines for deficiencies in local seafarer training and education.

READ: Marcos thanks Japan for hosting Filipinos, providing pandemic aid

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