Biden, Xi to talk before APEC leaders on trade, COVID-19 recovery

Maris Federez   •   November 12, 2021   •   495

US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping are expected to talk about trade and COVID-19 recovery before other heads of state in the 21-member Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) on Friday.

This is amid heightened regional trade and geopolitical tensions.

In a statement, the White House said that Biden’s participation “demonstrates U.S. commitment to the Indo-Pacific region and to multilateral cooperation.”

The talk in the APEC gathering will take place ahead of the scheduled online summit between the two world leaders on Monday.

This aims to prevent the tension between the two largest economies in the world from worsening which could result in conflict.

The APEC Summit, which is now chaired online by New Zealand, is the last multilateral meeting of this year, following the high-profile G20 Summit in Rome and the COP26 climate meeting in Glasgow, Scotland.

The APEC summit will be held in Thailand next year. —/mbmf

Duterte to attend APEC Summit virtually – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   November 2, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to attend the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting next week, Malacañang said Tuesday.

In a Palace briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the president will attend the APEC Summit on November 12 via video conferencing.

 Roque said Duterte will attend the opening and closing ceremonies, the Global Economic Outlook presentation by the International Monetary Fund, among others.

The summit will also include the handover of APEC chairing to Thailand, he added.

Duterte calls for universal access to COVID-19 vaccine at APEC meeting

Marje Pelayo   •   November 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte in his intervention at the first virtual summit of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Meeting on Friday night stressed the importance of a comprehensive recovery process for all countries.

He called on APEC economies to ensure that medical supplies, COVID-19 vaccines, treatment and technologies related to the prevailing pandemic will be made available.

“We have to ensure the unimpeded flow of medical supplies and technologies, especially COVID-19 vaccines. It is folly to assume that there can be pockets of safe havens in the face of a global pandemic,” President Duterte said.

“We have to defeat the virus everywhere, or no one is safe. To do this, we need to strengthen partnerships to make vaccines a global public good,” he added.

He added that there are a number of mechanisms in place that can be maximized to improve regional cooperation on a universal access to vaccines.

Apart from this, the president also stressed the need for economic push to boost the economy and way of life in the region through free trade.

“The APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040 recognizes the pressing challenges of today and foresees those of the future. Through this Vision, we reaffirm our support for a free and rules-based multilateral trading system, with the World Trade Organization as its vanguard,” he said.

US President Donald Trump, who attended the summit, agreed on the free trade pact while Chinese President Xi Jinping encouraged each nation to defend multilateralism as well as participation in the creation of an Asia-Pacific Free Trade Zone.

This year’s APEC forum, hosted by Malaysia, approved the Putrajaya Vision 2040 – a 20-year growth vision.

It replaces the Bogor Goals and pushes for free trade and regional connectivity. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Duterte supports Chile’s decision to cancel APEC hosting

Marje Pelayo   •   November 3, 2019

BANGKOK, Thailand — President Rodrigo Duterte expressed support for Chile’s decision to cancel its hosting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit set for November 16 to 17.

“The Office of the President therefore expresses the country’s support for Chile as it made the hard decision of cancelling its hosting of the AELM, taking into consideration the interest and concerns of the Chilean people, as its country endured massive street protests that was propelled by a civil disobedience campaign over metro transit hikes,” Malacañang in a statement through Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said on Friday (November 1).

Due to the ongoing public unrest, the Chilean government earlier pulled out as host of the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting.

Duterte earlier confirmed his intention to attend the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting which was supposed to bring together heads of governments to discuss trade relations and investments within the region.

Panelo said Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. and Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez were supposed to join the President in Chile to meet with their counterparts during this years’  final meetings of APEC Senior Officials, APEC Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministers and Leaders.

Panelo emphasized the Philippines’ trade and commercial relations with APEC economies which, according to the official, accounts for 84% of the total trade of the Philippines worldwide, 82% total exports worldwide, and 85% of its total imports and 64% of foreign direct investment into the Philippines, and 83% of tourist arrivals.

“It is also worth noting that 56% of Filipinos abroad call the APEC region their home, and our overseas Filipino workers in this region account for the 57% of the total annual remittances the we receive in the country. As such, there are 33 Philippine Government agencies engaged in the APEC process,” Panelo said.

“The Palace thanks Chile, which is currently the home to approximately 800 Filipinos, mostly women, for its hard work in advocating for inclusive and sustainable growth in the region, such as by prioritizing women empowerment and promoting micro, small, and medium scale enterprises,” he added.

The Philippine government also expressed its continued support in ensuring that the two countries’ citizens  enjoy the benefits of deeper regional economic integration.

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