Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
SINGAPORE – Regional leaders will gather beginning tomorrow until April 28 for the 32nd Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) Summit chaired this year by Singapore .
The nine other heads of member states, including Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, are expected to arrive today for the three-day Summit.
As this year’s chairman, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is keen on promoting the network of “smart cities” across ASEAN and also to boost cyber security in the region on which all members are expected to agree.
Tomorrow, April 26, representatives of the 10 member states will gather for the 16th ASEAN Economic Community Council Meeting to be led by Singapore Minister for Trade and Industry Lim Hng Kiang.
Meanwhile, Philippine Ambassador to Singapore Joseph Del Mar Yap is proud of the strong relationship between the Philippines and Singapore, the latter being the former’s biggest trading partner among other regional members.
“Singapore is actually the biggest source of investment for the Philippines in terms of the ASEAN region so we receive the most amount of investment from them and most of these investments are in fact done through joint ventures,” Ambassador Del Mar said.
Del Mar added that the joint venture between the Philippines and Singaporean companies is “a result of working closely together” as both sides are learning from each other in terms of trade and business.
In line with the Summit, Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs has declared the Summit venues “The Istana” and the Shangri-La Hotel as “special zones” where enhanced security measures are being imposed, as stated under Public Order Act.
The Istana estate is the official residence of the President of Singapore and also the working office of the Prime Minister. – Maila Guevarra/Marje Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue