President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Wednesday left the Philippines for Cambodia ahead of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) summits in Cambodia.

Phnom Penh will host the 40th and 41st Asean Summits and Related Summits in Phnom Penh from Nov. 10 to 13.

“I have spoken often about the importance that I put to the partnerships that we make as we go forward and start to live the future of the new global economy, and I think this is going to be a very, very good opportunity for us to forge new partnerships and to strengthen those that have already existed for a very long time,” the president said in a speech before leaving for Cambodia.

This will be Marcos Jr.’s first time to attend the Asean Summits since assuming the presidency in June.

“We will emphasize regional cooperation on maritime security, climate change, food security, health cooperation and economic recovery amongst others,” he said.

“We will also address regional issues such as the pandemic and the situation in Myanmar, developments in the South China Sea, and the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, among other important matters,” the president added.

Marcos Jr. said he would also have bilateral meetings with his Asean counterparts.

“I will seek further cooperation in key priorities of my Administration as well as how to explore what we can do to come together to address the most pressing issues of the region,” he said.

The Asean Summit is the highest policy-making body in Asean comprising the heads of state or government of Asean member states. John Ezekiel J. Hirro