President Duterte to visit Cambodia, Hong Kong, and Beijing

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte will embark on a visit to Cambodia, Hong Kong, and Beijing, China from May 10 to 15.

In a press briefing in Malacañang on Monday, May 8, Acting Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Robespierre Bolivar said President Duterte primarily in his capacity as chair of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will be participating at the World Economic Forum (WEF) for ASEAN in Cambodia from May 10 to 11.

“And as ASEAN Chair, the President is expected to share his views on the region’s achievements and challenges, and to deliver a message to the youth of ASEAN,” Bolivar said.

He added that President Duterte has also been given the opportunity to address international investors regarding his economic plan.

According to Bolivar, the President is likely to inform the participants of the progress made in the building of the ASEAN Economic Community.

The Department of Foreign Affairs official said the organizers designated the President as an honored guest of the WEF, alongside the Prime Minister of Vietnam, who is currently the chair of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

The theme for this WEF, which is hosted by Cambodia for the first time, is: “Youth, Technology, and Growth: Securing ASEAN’s Digital and Demographic Dividends.”

This supports the three program pillars of the WEF on ASEAN 2017, namely: ASEAN in the New Global Context; ASEAN and the Connectivity Agenda; ASEAN and the Youth Agenda.

More than 700 leaders from business, government, civil society, and the media are expected to participate in the WEF.

The President then flies to Hong Kong where he is scheduled to meet with a large Filipino community based in the Special Administrative Region.

According to Bolivar, there are around 210,000 Filipinos in Hong Kong as of March this year, where many of whom work in the hotel and restaurant industry or in the Hong Kong residents’ households.

From Hong Kong, the President proceeds to Beijing, China to participate in the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation that will be held from May 14 to May 15.

The President will join 27 other heads of state and government, as well as heads of three international organizations in the forum.

According to Bolivar, the BRF will have three parts: the opening ceremony; a ministerial level dialogue; and a leaders roundtable.

At the ministerial level dialogue, there will be an exchange of views involving participants from government, industries, and research institutes.

On the other hand, the leaders’ roundtable, to be chaired by President Xi Jinping, will be attended by the heads of state and government and international organizations.

The topics expected to be discussed include infrastructure connectivity; economic and trade cooperation; industrial investment; energy and resources; financial support; people-to-people exchanges; ecological and environmental protection; and marine cooperation. ###PND