MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III on Sunday addressed other heads of state at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders’ forum in Bali, Indonesia.
The Official Gazette on Twitter said Aquino and Peru President Ollanta Humala spoke on the importance of inclusive growth.
Aquino left for Bali, Indonesia Sunday morning to attend the APEC leaders’ forum, radio reports said.
Aquino addressed government officials before his departure, saying that long-term progress also depends on stronger ties with other countries.
“We will further strengthen our relations with Indonesia and other neighboring countries, towards the strengthening of our economy,” he said, according to a statement released online.
Among those who saw the President off were Vice President Jejomar Binay, Public Works and Highways Rogelio Singson, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos-Deles, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs Ronald Llamas and Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda.
On Saturday, Communications Secretary Ramon “Ricky” Carandang said Aquino was hoping to encourage the international business community to invest in the Philippines.
“We’re going to be talking about inclusive growth. President Aquino is going to talk to the international business community and other world leaders. We are going to be showing that the reforms we have undertaken over the last three years have borne a lot of fruit in terms of increased confidence in the Philippine economy and the management of the economy,” Carandang said.
US President Barack Obama did not attend the summit because of the partial shutdown of the US government. Reports said this might affect the US state’s strategic “pivot” to Asia, with the Philippines among those expected to play a key role.
Meanwhile, China’s leader Xi Jinping has been making rounds in Malaysia and Indonesia to supposedly improve relations in the area as its territorial disputes with Philippines and Vietnam continue.
After Indonesia, Aquino will head to Brunei to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit.