By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos | Philippine News Agency
November 14, 2023
MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Tuesday expressed optimism that several agreements will be signed on the sidelines of his participation in the 30th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in San Francisco, California.
In his pre-departure speech before flying to the United States, Marcos said he would meet with business leaders and conduct roundtable discussions on the sidelines of APEC summit to attract more foreign investments, promote trade and investment opportunities in the Philippines, and present his administration’s economic agenda.
Marcos said he expects the signing of agreements on priority sectors, including energy, improved weather monitoring, and health.
“On the sidelines of the APEC Summit, I expect to witness the signing of a number of government-to-government, public-private, and business agreements, which have been under negotiation over the past several months, covering priority sectors, such as nuclear energy; artificial intelligence to support weather forecasting; health sciences, particularly cancer research, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention; pharmaceutical manufacturing; and satellite connectivity,” he said.
He will be joined in the 30th APEC Leaders’ Meeting on Nov. 15 to 17 by his economic team and a high-profile business delegation, as the country seeks to explore new and expand existing partnerships.
Marcos said he has been invited to deliver keynote remarks on “intentional equity in sustainability” during the APEC CEO Summit to share the Philippines’ experience in ensuring inclusivity on our path to greening the economy.
The APEC CEO Summit is the annual gathering of top chief executives from across the Asia-Pacific region.
“There will be several engagements with private sector representatives from the APEC Business Advisory Council to discuss how we can use public-private partnership to fulfill our agenda in innovative and sustainable development, finance, and economic and business reform,” Marcos said.
The Department of Foreign Affairs earlier said Marcos would persuade his fellow Asia-Pacific leaders to step up the region’s food, energy, health and digital partnerships.
Marcos said this year’s APEC Summit, with a theme “Creating a Sustainable and Resilient Future for All,” is aligned with his administration’s national and economic interest to transform the Philippines toward a “sustainable future” that will give Filipinos a “stable, comfortable and secure” lives.
“Our APEC work has been focused to prioritize and secure beneficial trade and investment, quality and green jobs, and human development and poverty alleviation,” he said.
“We will be engaging with the leaders of economies of the Asia-Pacific region to agree on how we can achieve food and energy security, economic inclusion of our micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), women, indigenous people, and other segments whose economic potential remains to be unlocked through digitalization and innovation, and sustainable development and addressing the climate change crisis,” Marcos added.
The 21 APEC member economies are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, the US, and Vietnam.
The Asia-Pacific region hosts 38 percent of the world’s population, 48 percent of its trade, and 62 percent of its gross domestic product.
Eighty-five percent of the Philippines’ trade and top investors are from the Asia-Pacific.
With the region serving as the “second home” of overseas Filipino workers. Marcos expressed excitement over meeting the Filipino communities in San Francisco and Los Angeles in California and in Honolulu, Hawaii.
“I look forward to meeting our Filipino communities in all three cities. California and Hawaii have the largest concentrations of Filipinos and Filipino-Americans, home to almost half of the 4.2 million Filipinos in the United States, who serve as the bedrock of our bilateral relations,” Marcos said.
While Marcos is in the US, Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Z. Duterte will serve as “government caretaker,” Communications Secretary Cheloy Garafil said in a separate statement.