President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. urged the Association of southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to prioritise innovative approaches that promote food self-sufficiency and security in the region
He emphasised that achieving overall human security is dependent on this endeavour.
Marcos made this plea during the ASEAN Leaders' Interface with the Representatives of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ABAC), highlighting the crucial role of human security in sustaining ASEAN's economic growth and preserving hard-earned peace and stability. He suggested that ASEAN governments can ensure food security by embracing novel technologies and implementing intelligent agricultural and food systems.
“As such, the Philippines supports ABAC’s proposal on strengthening food security, promoting sustainable production, enhancing information systems, and identifying nutrition-enhancing agriculture mechanisms for sustainable ASEAN food systems,” Marcos said. “I would like to reiterate the commitment of the Philippine government to work with the private sector to advance ASEAN’s goals and objectives.”
Furthermore, Marcos reiterated the ASEAN-BAC's appeal for the bloc to assume a prominent position in shaping the regional and global economy by maintaining unity, solidarity, and strength in determining its economic agenda both presently and in the future. He emphasised that the Philippines fully acknowledges the significance of private sector participation as the primary driver of ASEAN's economic activities, particularly in the intricate logistics network of goods and services throughout the region. The President also underscored the importance of persisting in efforts to keep pace with the rapid digital transformation occurring within the region.
“In a region with citizens who are enthusiastic adopters of digital solutions that are reshaping the way our countries do business, we must capitalise on such assets as e-commerce and digitalisation to advance the trade agenda, enhance cross-border trade, and foster economic integration,” he said.
The President is currently participating in the 42nd ASEAN Summit and Related Summits in Labuan Bajo, Indonesia.