Aquino to attend Yokohama APEC

Manila (8 November) -- President Benigno S. Aquino III will attend his first Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting in Yokohama, Japan from Nov.12 to 15 to push the Philippines' initiative to sustain cooperation in economic and technical cooperation.

In a media briefing in MalacaƱang, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Antonio Rodriguez said the President will lead the country in actively engaging the 21-member APEC economies to enhance the country' advocacy for humanresources development, employment creation and in addressing the social dimensions of globalization, and sustaining economic and technical cooperation.

As APEC chairman in 1996, Rodriguez said the country pushed to sustain economic and technical cooperation so that developing economies such as the Philippines can be globally competitive under the 2020 APEC Bogor Goals

In 1994, the APEC Bogor Goals were established in Bogor, Indonesia and set the target of free and open trade and investment in the APEC region by 2010 for industrialized economies and 2020 for developing economies.

Rodriguez pointed out that safety nets are important for the balanced and inclusive growth of developing economies in the midst of globalization.

He said the President will likely push initiatives on climate change which is also important considering that the Philippines is a minor contributor to the world's greenhouse gas emissions but a big victim of the effects of climate change.

Without naming names, Rodriguez said several heads of state have also expressed interest to meet with President Aquino at the sidelines of the 18th APEC Economic Leaders Meeting on Nov. 13-14.

Rodriguez said President Aquino and the official Philippine delegation will have a chance to meet with the region's top business leaders during the APEC CEO Summit on Nov. 12, and the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC)Dialogue with Leaders on Nov. 13.

Composed of three business executives from each member economy, ABAC was created by the APEC Economic Leaders in Nov. 1995 to provide advice on ways to achieve the Bogor Goals and other business sector priorities, as well as providing the business perspective on specific areas of cooperation.

Rodriguez said the President will also meet with representatives of the Filipino community in Japan, where more than 1,000 Filipinos in the Yokohama region alone are expected to greet the President.

He said the President will arrive for an overnight stay in Tokyo on Nov. 11 and immediately proceed to Yokohama for the APEC meet the following morning.

Among those joining the President are Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo and Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory Domingo.

With the 18th AELM's theme of "Change and Action," APEC economies will build upon its past successes, by proposing necessary changes and actions to ensure its continued relevance in shaping the region's future.

APEC economies will also consider future directions for the region, taking off from a vision of a New Growth Paradigm for a changed post-crisis landscape that was adopted by the APEC Leaders in 2008 in Lima, Peru.

APEC members account for approximately 40 percent of the world's population, approximately 54 percent of the world gross domestic product (GDP) and about 44 percent of world trade.