Duterte arrives in Vietnam for APEC Summit, bilateral meetings

Pia Ranada
Duterte arrives in Vietnam for APEC Summit, bilateral meetings
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is set to have bilateral meetings with leaders like Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the APEC Summit

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte arrived in Da Nang, Vietnam on Wednesday night, November 8, to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit.

Duterte’s plane landed around 6 pm, Da Nang time (7 pm in Manila).

Before leaving for Vietnam, Duterte said in a press conference that he would support economic initiatives beneficial to the Philippines during the APEC Summit.

In particular, he will reiterate his support for promoting micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the Asia-Pacific.

“When the Philippines hosted APEC, we have put forward these important initiatives of promoting inclusive growth, investing in human capital development, and fostering MSMEs’ participation in the global market,” he said.

Duterte added that he would “amplify” his call with “renewed vigor” for food security through sustainable economic, agricultural, forest and fisheries, beneficial policies for MSMEs, regulatory reform, human capital development, and connectivity.

Bilateral meetings

The Philippine President is slated to have bilateral meetings during his 4-day visit.

On Thursday, November 9, he will have a meeting with Vietnam President and APEC host Tran Dai Quang.

On Friday, November 10, he is scheduled to have a bilateral meeting with his “idol,” Russian President Vladimir Putin. After, he will have a “pull-aside meeting” with Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam.

On Saturday, November 11, his last day in Vietnam, there is a “proposed” meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

So far, there is no scheduled bilateral meeting between Duterte and United States President Donald Trump in Vietnam.

APEC schedule

On Thursday, Duterte’s first full day there, he is expected to attend the APEC welcome ceremony hosted by APEC CEO Summit Chairman Dr Vu Tien Loc.

He will then give a keynote speech during APEC Summit Session 7 titled “Regional Economic Integration-Lessons Learnt from ASEAN.” He will do so in his capacity as this year’s chairman of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

On Friday, Duterte will attend a welcome ceremony for APEC leaders.

He will also attend the Plenary Session of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) Dialogue with APEC Leaders.

With a smaller group of leaders, Duterte will join a group breakout session. This will be followed by an informal dialogue between APEC and ASEAN.

On Friday night, all APEC leaders and their spouses will attend a gala dinner hosted by President Tran Dai Quang and Madame Nguyen Thi Hien.

On Saturday, APEC leaders will participate in two APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting retreats and a working lunch in between.

The themes of these sessions are “Growth Inclusion and Sustainable Employment in the Digital Age,” “Fostering Shared Future,” and “New Drivers for Regional Trade, Investment, and Connectivity.”

All leaders will then take part in the traditional APEC leaders’ family photo before the conclusion and farewell ceremonies.

Last year, Duterte caused a stir when, during his first APEC Summit, he did not join the family photo. – Rappler.com

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.