Aquino to sell PH as investors' choice in US trip
MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III will continue his bid to sell the Philippines as an investment destination in Asia and apprise business leaders and Filipinos abroad on positive developments in the country when he visits 3 key US cities from September 20 to 24.
Aquino will head to the US after completing his official engagements in Berlin, Germany, the last leg of his 4-nation Europe trip that also includes Spain, Belgium and France.
“The primary objective of the visit is to continue to project the Philippines as an emerging economy and investment destination in Asia, to promote the country as having an economy with sound credentials built on the back of good governance principles,” Foreign Assistant Secretary Maria Andrelita Austria said in a news briefing on Tuesday, September 16.
Austria added that Aquino will also “highlight the country’s role as an archipelagic and maritime nation with key advocacies in maritime security, maritime safety, promotion and growth of the economy and sustainability of development.”
Boston, NYC, San Francisco
The President will have official engagements in Boston, New York City, and San Francisco, but will have some “personal time” with family friends in Boston – his first US stop – where the Aquino family lived in exile in for 3 years.
In 1980, the President's father, former Senator Benigno Aquino Jr suffered a heart attack while in detention in Manila, and was shortly determined to require a coronary artery bypass surgery. He was allowed to go to the US for treatment, and lived there in exile with his family, until his assassination during his 1983 homecoming.
“As the President has spent many years in Boston with his family, the first few activities will be personal visits to old friends...Basically, his parents’ friends when they were there. I think there’s just one event where he will have a chance to say hello to all of them and catch up," the DFA official said.
In Boston, the President will be honored by Boston College where he would deliver a speech and have a reception for members of the Filipino community in the New York-Boston area.
The President will also meet with Representative Joseph Kennedy III of the 4th District of Massachusetts, who was on a recent trip to the Philippines and had earlier invited the Chief Executive to a meeting should he be in Boston.
Aquino will also meet with top executives of 3 big US companies, and will deliver a policy speech at the Kennedy School of Government in Harvard before departing for New York.
In New York, Aquino will join other world leaders at the United Nations Climate Change Summit, followed by a business roundtable with the US Chamber of Commerce, the US-Asean Business Council, and the US-Philippines Society.
Austria said that during the UN Climate Change Summit, Aquino "will demonstrate how the Philippines has tried to meet all our commitments under the various international conventions on climate change."
That same day, he will speak at the World Leaders Forum at Columbia University.
From New York, the President will head to San Francisco. Austria said that San Francisco leg was initially meant to be a technical stop, the requests of “big business companies” to meet with Aquino prompted change in schedule.
“We have arranged for two big business meetings in San Francisco, after which he (Aquino) will leave for Manila,” she said, adding that the President is due back in Manila on Thursday night, September 25.
No meeting with UN chief
When asked, Austria said that Aquino will not have a one-on-one meeting with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon but added that Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario will stay longer in New York to meet with the UN chief and for other UN-related activities.
Del Rosario is expected to raise Philippine concerns over its peacekeeping troops in the Golan Heights when he meets with Ban at the UN headquarters.
Del Rosario had sought the meeting with Ban as the mandate of the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) came under scrutiny after Syrian rebels including the Al Qaeda-linked Al Nusra Front held 45 Fijian peacekeepers captive, and engaged in a firefight with Filipino peacekeepers. The Filipinos managed to escape the crisis that began on August 28.– Rappler.com