Statement of President Aquino during the 13th ASEAN-Republic of Korea Summit, Hanoi, Vietnam

Statement
of
His Excellency Benigno S. Aquino III
President of the Philippines
During the 13th ASEAN-Republic of Korea Summit

[October 29, 2010; Hanoi, Vietnam]

[Please check against delivery]

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung,
President Lee Myung-bak
My colleagues in ASEAN,
Excellencies and distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Good Morning.

Allow me first to welcome His Excellency President Lee Myung-bak to our annual gathering, and to thank our hosts, the Government and People of Viet Nam for their generous hospitality and excellent arrangements for our 13th Summit. At the outset, I would like to thank Korea for its generous support for ASEAN-ROK cooperation programs. Korea is already very much engaged with ASEAN through the Declaration on ASEAN-ROK Strategic Partnership and its accompanying document, the new ASEAN-ROK Plan of Action to Implement the Joint Declaration on Strategic Partnership. Through this, the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement, and other initiatives, we look forward to even closer cooperation in the future.

I would like to focus on interconnectivity. Regional economic progress can be pushed further by means of the interconnectivity of our economic infrastructure to support the growing economic exchanges between our two regions. ASEAN regional connectivity, aimed at further advancing economic progress for our peoples, has become a major goal for us as we recently approved and adopted the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity.

Three key elements characterize the Connectivity Master Plan: physical connectivity referring to transport connectivity; institutional connectivity referring to trade and investment liberalization; and people-to-people connectivity referring to tourism, education, and cultural exchange. Given our unique geographic location separated by maritime areas from mainland Southeast Asia, the Philippines, in particular, looks forward to the development of a nautical highway to ensure that we remain connected to our neighbors in the region. Forging Public-Private Partnerships will make the connectivity in ASEAN a reality and we look forward to the strong support of our Dialogue Partners for this initiative.

Also in line with regional connectivity, the Philippines recognizes the timeliness and relevance of our respective Transport Ministers’ decision to formalize cooperation with the Republic of Korea in the sectors of land, air, and maritime transport, including transport facilitation programs and human resources development. These are supplements to ASEAN’s Connectivity Masterplan.

A global regime consisting of stable economic rules that are free and fair, as well as prudent enforcement of supervision and regulation, helps to support regional economic growth and cooperation.  We look forward to Korea’s hosting the next G20 Summit, and we are confident that Korea, as she has done in past G20 Summits, will continue to be an active partner of developing countries in voicing our interests and concerns in this gathering of leaders of the world’s most important economies.

Of particular interest for us is the objective of the G20 Leaders to arrive at a decision on the full reform of International Financial Institutions to give a stronger voice to developing countries. We urge the G20 to effectively advocate refraining from trade protectionist measures even as we all work to emerge from the recent global economic crisis.

On the security front, let me reiterate my support for the Six-Party talks with North Korea as the most practical venue for reducing tensions on the Korean Peninsula. The Philippines has always been a voice for peace and dialogue in the world. My administration would be prepared to contribute, if requested, to a successful conclusion of the Six-Party talks.

It is only when our peoples can live in a milieu of safety, free from harm and threats, that they will be able to actively and freely pursue prosperity. I support the fostering of stronger ties within the evolving regional architecture in Asia, where our ultimate long-term goal is region-wide cooperation to achieve a politically responsible, economically vigorous and socially unified Asian region.

Thank you.

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