Duterte expects highly productive APEC meet for PH

By Jose Cielito Reganit

November 8, 2017, 8:01 pm

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday said he is anticipating a highly productive meeting with fellow leaders as he departed for Da Nang, Vietnam to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit.

In his pre-departure briefing at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Pasay City, the President said he is looking forward to exchanging ideas with his fellow leaders and old friends on how to strengthen relationships to sustain the economic vigor of the Asia Pacific region, particularly the Philippines.

“As a founding member of APEC, the Philippines has hosted the economic leaders meeting twice. Our continued engagement is an investment in our economic future as our country seeks to sustain our development and work towards more significant investments and a golden age of infrastructure,” Duterte said. 

He said that the Philippines would continue to strongly pitch for the promotion of inclusive growth, investing in human capital development, and bigger participation of micro- small and medium enterprises MSMEs in the global market.

“This year, we will amplify that call with renewed vigor. We will continue to reiterate the themes of development and economic growth, in order to reinforce our strategic importance to achieve the goals of realizing a prosperous Philippines with equal access to opportunities to all,” the President said.

Aside from meeting his fellow leaders, Duterte is also expected to speak before the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) and CEOs. 

As this year’s chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), he said the Philippines would use these platforms of ASEAN and APEC to promote advocacies close to the heart of every Filipino – access to international markets for Filipino MSMEs and a comfortable life for all.

"Not so good a life or a luxurious life. I only dream for my country a better life for our people - food security, connectivity, the rule of law, anti-corruption and regional security," Duterte said.

At the inaugural dialogue between the APEC and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Duterte said he would “engage the leaders in the greater Asia Pacific region to commit in pursuing its shared economic prosperity.” 

“This, as we work jointly to ensure that our region is secure from the menace of transnational crimes such as illegal drug trade, terrorism and violent extremism and crimes at sea, or what you would know as piracy,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said President Duterte is expected to have bilateral meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, the APEC chair for 2018.

He is also expected to meet with United States President Donald Trump for the first time, although a bilateral meeting is still being worked out.

A bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping is also being confirmed by the DFA. (PNA)