Aquino says this year’s Apec broader, focused on inclusive growth
Gone are the days when the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) is focused on technical issues concerning trade, President Benigno Aquino III said as the Apec Summit ended on Thursday.
“In the past, Apec meetings were highly technical meetings on trade issues. The discussions over the past couple of days have taken a broader approach,” he revealed during a press conference.
“We have sought to address the challenges presented by the ever changing global economic milieu,” he added. “For instance we shared ideas on how to encourage technological innovation while at the same time easing its disruptive effects on the job market by giving rise to more resilient economies.”
Aquino, who has taken the inclusive growth campaign to heart, said the group of 21 member economies was able to exchange ideas on greater inclusivity.
“Since inclusive growth has always been the guiding principle of our administration, we are proud to uphold this approach front and center throughout our hosting Apec this year,” he said.
Throughout the week, various world leaders have talked about inclusive growth and how it can be achieved by the region.
“Since inclusive growth has always been the guiding principle of our administration, we are proud to have put this approach front and center throughout our hosting APEC this year,” he said.
The last time the Philippines hosted the Apec was 19 years ago.
“This year, I am proud to have continued our success as hosts by laying the foundations on which Apec can chart a course to improve trade and strengthen quality growth,” Aquino said. “I thank my fellow Apec leaders for their collaborative efforts and positive spirit as we worked together towards the goals that we share, and our cooperation gives us optimism that we can achieve greater progress sooner rather than later.”
He said the Philippines was able to benefit from the Apec, as it took “existing partnerships to a new level.
“We have taken existing partnerships to a new level. With Mexico, for instance, we committed to work together to combat drug trafficking, which is a common concern of our peoples. With Papua New Guinea, we offered our assistance in supporting their agriculture sector. It was also during this week that we formalized our strategic partnership with Vietnam and our comprehensive partnership with Australia,” he said.
A number of the heads of state that Aquino met expressed support for the Philippines’ plans to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
“This is a very encouraging sign; we of course want to join the TPP because it offers access to a far larger market,” he said.
The President said the member economies hosted around 229 meetings in the past year to promote local and regional economies. Among them is the Boracay Action Agenda, which was approved earlier this year. Among its aims is for micro, small and medium enterprises to be able to access global and regional markets. There is also a Cebu Action Plan, which helps widen access to financial markets.
Aquino highlighted the finalization of the Renewed Apec Agenda for Structural Reform that will guide economies towards sustained growth, the Disaster Risk Reduction Framework that acknowledges the impact of climate change in the Asia Pacific, the Apec Strategy for Strengthening Quality Growth, and the Apec Services Cooperation Framework.
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