Duterte all set for APEC Summit in Peru, 14 Nov. 2016

President Rodrigo Duterte is set to attend the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Lima, Peru this week where he is expected to present the socioeconomic agenda of the administration before the 21 member economies.

In a pre-departure briefing in Malacañan on Monday, Foreign Affairs Office of International Economic Relations senior adviser Leo Herrera-Lim said the APEC is a good platform for the President to showcase his 10-point Socioeconomic Agenda noting that many of agenda items are “within the sphere” of APEC’s agenda.

“It is good for the President to articulate it and to share it with the other economic leaders because other economic leaders are also curious in terms of the President’s socioeconomic agenda because it has received good reviews from independent parties and many IGOs (intergovernmental organization),” said Herrera-Lim.

“It’s a bigger stage for the President to showcase both his mystique and his agenda for the country. And many of the other economic leaders would want to understand the President’s ideology, mission, and even programs from his own words, free of any biases or any slant,” he added.

This will be the first APEC Summit Duterte will attend as president of the country.

His official schedule in Peru will start on November 19 where he is expected to attend the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM) and the CEO Summit.

He is also set to participate in the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), which is composed of three CEOs of each of the 21 APEC member countries.

The Philippines will be represented by Doris Magsaysay Ho, chairperson of last year’s ABAC in the Philippines and Guillermo Luz of the Competitiveness Council, according to Herrera-Lim.

“Basically, the ABAC meeting will give the business leaders an opportunity to discuss with the world leaders or the economic leaders of APEC the pressing concerns of business within our region,” the DFA official added.

The ABAC meeting will be followed up by the breakout sessions involving all the 21 leaders and 63 ABAC CEOs.

Herrera said President Duterte will be in “Group 4” together with the leaders of Japan, Mexico, and Singapore.

Among the topics to be discussed in the ABAC include taking the Asia Pacific to the next economic integration, growing global Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), building larger and robust inclusive financial markets, promoting sustainable development, regulatory quality and closing the gap.

After the ABAC, the President is expected to participate in the meeting with Pacific Alliance leaders, which include Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru.

The Chief Executive and other economic leaders are set to attend the dialogue with Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg.

The President’s day will be capped off by the gala dinner to be hosted by Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski.

On the second day, President Duterte is scheduled to attend the informal dialogue with International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde.

He is also set to attend two retreats. In the first retreat, the leaders are expected to discuss challenges to the trade and investment in the current global context, ways to promote voluntary reforms in support of free trade and capital mobility, systems to boost the SMEs, internationalization or connection and participation in the global value chain, and ways to maximize opportunities offered by the digital, trade services and knowledge economy.

In the second retreat, the leaders will tackle food security, climate change, and access to water.

Herrera-Lim said President Duterte may have two to four bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the APEC Summit but refused to give further details about it.

He said the number of bilateral meetings is limited to ensure “good and constructive interaction” with the world leaders. PND