Aquino head to APEC summit in Russia Friday

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Friday, September 7, 2012

PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III will leave for Russia on Friday to join 20 other world leaders in the 20th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders' Meeting to be held at Russkiy Island from September 8 to 9.

Aquino will be accompanied by a lean delegation composed of Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, Transportation and Communications Secretary Manuel Roxas II, Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory Domingo, Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda and Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, among others.

Lacierda said the total number of the President's delegation is 67.


He said the President is expecting "a greater cooperation between the Asia Pacific nations particularly on trade."

Aquino will leave Manila for Vladivostok, Russia, via Philippine Airlines flight PR-001 at 1 p.m. Friday and will arrive at Vladivostok International Airport at 9 p.m. (Vladivostok time).

The Chief Executive will be welcomed by officials from the Foreign Ministry Affairs, Russian Federation, Governor of Primorsky Krai region and Philippine Embassy officials to be led by Ambassador to Moscow Alejandro Mosquera, Charge d’ Affaires Dinno Oblena, Philippine Embassy in Moscow and Consul General Yuri Kostyukov of the Philippine Consulate General.

On Saturday (September 8), President Aquino will have separate bilateral meetings with the heads of Singapore and Chile at 9 a.m. It will be followed by his attendance to the APEC Leaders retreat session 1 at 3 p.m.

Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for International Economic Relations Laura del Rosario said that the four priorities to be tackled during the APEC Leaders’ Meeting include trade and investment liberalization and regional economic integration.

The three other priority areas that the APEC leaders will also discuss during the meeting are the strengthening food security, establishing reliable supply chains, and cooperation to foster innovative growth.

The President will also participate in the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) Dialogue with APEC leaders, which is a key feature of the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting (AELM).

During the ABAC Dialogue, ABAC members are expected to discuss with APEC leaders the entire year's ABAC work program and to raise issues of pressing concern to the business community.

ABAC Philippines will be represented by A. Magsaysay Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer Doris Magsaysay, Jollibee Food Corp. Chairman and CEO Tony Tan Caktiong, and Ayala Corp. Chairman and CEO Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala.

Aquino will also join the other 20 heads of states in the APEC Leaders' Dinner.

On Sunday (September 9), the President will have a bilateral meeting with the head of Vietnam at 10:15 a.m. It will be followed by his attendance to the APEC Leaders Retreat Session 2 at 11 a.m.

The President will then join the other leaders at the official family photo opportunity. Before he leaves for Manila, Aquino will attend the working lunch with APEC Leaders.

Lacierda has yet to confirm if the reported meeting between the President and Chinese President Hu Jintao will push through.

The two leaders are reportedly eyeing for bilateral talks on the sidelights of the APEC to apparently discuss issues related to disputed islands in the West Philippine Sea.

APEC is an organization of economies in the Asia-Pacific region, and it has 21 members. It is the premier forum for facilitating economic growth, cooperation, trade and investment in Asia-Pacific region. 

Del Rosario said that the preparations for the hosting of the APEC 2015 by the Philippines will start next year. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)

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