Aquino flies to Hawaii for Apec summit

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Friday, November 11, 2011


PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III left for Honolulu, Hawaii Friday to attend the 19th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) leader’s summit.

The President was accompanied by a lean delegation led by Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, Transportation and Communication Secretary Manuel Roxas II, Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo, Energy Secretary Rene Almendras and presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda.

At a press briefing in Malacanang hours before their departure, Lacierda said the Apec leader’s meeting will be highlighted by discussions of various issues including jobs, regulatory reforms, and competitiveness and energy.

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"The President will be attending the Apec summit for 11, 12, 13. There will be meetings with the Apec leaders and also it will be an opportunity to discuss various issues certain issues on competitiveness, jobs, security, and the energy, among others. There are other issues to be discussed towards economic cooperation on these issues,” he said.

The President and his delegation left at 4 p.m. They are scheduled to return on November 15 in time for the visit of United States Secretary Hillary Clinton in the country.

Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, who is in the United States, will also join the President’s delegation in Hawaii.

Clinton will visit Manila to mark the 60th anniversary of the US Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty. She and the President are scheduled to meet on November 16, the day Aquino is also scheduled to leave for Bali, Indonesia for the 19th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit.

Aquino, along with 20 other head of states, is expected to attend the Apec leader’s week.

Aquino also announced his scheduled meeting with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard during the event. The President mentioned his intention to meet Gillard during the visit of Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd in the country last month.

Apec 2011, which is hosted by the United States, is working toward the achievement of a "seamless regional economy" within the Pacific rim countries.

Aquino is also scheduled to attend the Apec CEO Summit on November 11 to 12.

Lacierda said the President will meet with the Filipino community in Honolulu.

The Department of Foreign Affairs earlier said that Aquino will also attend the Apec Business Advisory Council (Abac) Dialogue with Leaders.

The dialogue will give the “opportunity to meet with Apec leaders to discuss the year’s Abac work program and raise issues of pressing concern to the business community.”

Abac-Philippines is represented by Tony Tan Caktiong, chairman and CEO of Jollibee Foods Corp.; Doris Magsaysay-Ho, president and CEO of A. Magsaysay Inc.; and Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, Ayala Corp. chairman and CEO.

This year, Abac adopted the theme "21 Economies for the 21st Century" with the sub-theme "Employing People and ideas for sustained growth in the Asia-Pacific."

The theme “reflects the Abac 2011 objectives of helping Apec achieve progress in regional economic integration, small- and medium-scale enterprises, entrepreneurship, and sustainable development,” the DFA said. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)

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