(UPDATE) President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. will lead the Philippine delegation to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Thailand, where he will push for measures on food and energy security as well as climate change adaptation.
Marcos, who will leave for Bangkok on Wednesday, November 16, will join his fellow heads of state for the annual APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting from November 16 to 19.
He will also attend other related summits where he is expected to discuss plans and priorities of the Philippines in terms of trade, investment and post-pandemic economic recovery.
The President will also have at least six bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the APEC Summit.
It will be the first in-person APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting since 2018 and the first for the Marcos administration.
Press Undersecretary Cheloy Garafil said this year’s summit will be an opportunity to push the administration’s economic agenda and priorities.
These, she said, include the empowerment of micro, small and medium enterprises and their inclusion in global value chains, recognition of the essential role of maritime crews and seafarers in ensuring stable and resilient supply chains, food and energy security, and climate change mitigation and adaptation.
“He (Marcos) will also have the opportunity to meet with leaders of economies to discuss our bilateral relations and seek [a] path toward mutual economic benefits,” Garafil said in a statement.
World leaders expected to attend the APEC Summit are Chinese President Xi Jinping, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Russian President Vladimir Putin, among other leaders of the organization’s 21-member economies.
Foreign Affairs spokesman Teresita Daza earlier said that APEC accounts for about 85 percent of the Philippines’ trade abroad, while 82 percent of tourism flows into the country are from members of the forum.
APEC economies also host around 60 percent of Filipinos abroad, who are responsible for 68 percent of remittances to the Philippines, she said.
The Philippines, a founding member of the forum, hosted the APEC meetings in 1996 and 2015.
APEC was founded in 1989 to support sustainable economic growth and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.
Marcos gets tested for Covid-19 for the APEC meet
President Marcos on Tuesday also underwent a test for Covid-19 after Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen contracted the disease.
Marcos had himself tested as part of the health protocol for the APEC Summit 2022, Garafil said.
“The President had himself tested as part of the health protocol for the APEC Summit in Bangkok, Thailand. He also instructed members of the official delegation to Cambodia to have themselves tested,” Garafil said in a statement.
The Palace official, however, did not disclose the result of the test.
This came after the Cambodian leader tested positive for the disease, following the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summits in Phnom Penh, Cambodia last week.
Marcos and Hun Sen held a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Asean Summit on Thursday last week.