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.