MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III early Friday, November 14, arrived from what he described as a “fruitful” and “maximized” 4-day official trip to China and Myanmar for key regional meetings.
In his speech at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2, Aquino said his participation at the 22nd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Meeting in Beijing, and the 25th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Naypyidaw, helped push Philippine advocacies as well as generate investor interest in the country.
The President said he “seized every opportunity” to dialogue with his counterparts in the region to discuss issues confronting not only the Asia-Pacific but other parts of the world as well.
He said his “timely” participation in the APEC and ASEAN meetings allowed the rest of the world to see the “readiness of the Philippines to cooperate” in addressing global problems such as climate change, the Ebola virus, and terrorism.
Aquino said that in his meetings with the leaders of Vietnam, Chile, Peru, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Australia, India, and China at the sidelines of the APEC and ASEAN meetings, he discussed good governance, agricultural development, improved bilateral trade, and initiatives related to education and tourism.
Aquino said that in their brief meeting, he thanked Chinese President Xi Jinping for the “chance to begin the process towards better cooperation.” (READ: Aquino: Philippines willing to ‘listen’ to China)
“Sinabi rin po natin na ang pangunahin nating layunin ay ang pagpapaunlad sa kalagayan ng ating mga kababayan, at dito nakabatay ang ating mga desisyon (I also said that our primary goal is to improve the plight of our countrymen, and that this is the basis of our decisions),” Aquino said.
At the sidelines of the Asean summit, Aquino and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed to further tighten already close bilateral ties between their countries, both currently at odds with China over territorial disputes.
China, migrant workers, PH economy
In every summit with ASEAN dialogue partners in Naypyidaw, Aquino highlighted the need to manage tensions in the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea), and pushed for the early conclusion of a binding Code of Conduct in the disputed area.
At the ASEAN Plus Three (APT) Summit with Japan, Korea and China, Aquino called for stronger promotion of rights for migrant workers, and pushed for stronger cooperation in disaster management and on non-traditional security issues.
In his arrival speech in Manila, the President reported that he met with executives of various international firms, as well as Moody’s Investor Service chief executive officer Raymond McDaniel Jr who affirmed the Philippines’ rosy economic path.
“He said it is rare for a country that already has a credit ratings upgrade to receive a positive outlook….He also shared with us that based on our indicators, in the whole world, our banking system was the only one that received a positive outlook, ” Aquino said.
He gave highlights of his meetings with various company executives, among them, from multinational pharmaceutical company Sanofi who informed him that they are developing vaccines against 4 types of dengue.
“They have set up a plant and they are testing the vaccine in Asia and Latin America. Soon, it will reach the Philippines,” he said.
Aquino also said that Johnson & Johnson executives informed him that they will have a service center in the Philippines which will generate 500 jobs, and will bring to the Philippine market a drug it has developed against multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. – Rappler.com