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President Aquino off to Hawaii today for Apec meet

President Benigno Aquino lll. AP photo

President Benigno Aquino III leaves for Hawaii today (Friday) to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) leader’s summit.

The President will be accompanied by a lean delegation that includes Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario, Transportation and Communication Secretary Mar Roxas, Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory Domingo, Energy Secretary Rene Almendras and presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda.

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Lacierda told a news conference that Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, who is in the United States, will join the presidential party in Honolulu.

He said Mr. Aquino will leave at 4 p.m. and will return in the early morning of Nov. 15—in time for the visit of US State Secretary Hillary Clinton.

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Mr. Aquino and Clinton will meet on Nov. 16, the same day the President will leave for Bali, Indonesia, for the 19th Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit.

In Hawaii, the President will meet with 20 other Apec heads of states to discuss growth and jobs, regulatory reforms and competitiveness as well as energy efficiency and security.

Mr. Aquino will attend the Apec chief executive officer summit Nov. 11-12 and then participate in the Apec Business Advisory Council (Abac) Dialogue with Leaders. He will also meet with the Filipino community there.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Thursday the Philippine delegation will support “green growth,” regulatory reforms and continued trade expansion in the Apec meeting.

DFA spokesperson Raul Hernandez however said that the Philippines “wants flexibility on implementing tariff reduction on environmental goods.” Manila also “supports regulatory reforms to improve internal processes and procedures,” he noted.

In the business dialogue, Hernandez said that members will have 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, chair and CEO of Jollibee Foods Corp.; Doris Magsaysay-Ho, president and CEO of A. Magsaysay Inc.; and Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, Ayala Corp. chair and CEO.

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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,” according to the DFA.

Apec also groups China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Peru, South Korea, Russia, Singapore, Vietnam, and Hong Kong, among others.

They account for approximately 40 percent of the world’s population, about 54 percent of the globe’s gross domestic product and 44 percent of international trade.

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TAGS: Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec), Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario, Hawaii, President Benigno Aquino III
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