Noy to attend Asia-Europe meet in Brussels
- Delon Porcalla () - September 14, 2010 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino will take part in the Asia-Europe Meeting in Brussels on Oct. 3-5 after his US trip to attend the UN General Assembly in New York.

Speaking to reporters, Mr. Aquino said: “All I can say is, I would not have agreed to go on that trip if there were no clear cut signs that the country will have benefits arising from our visit there.”

Mr. Aquino will be leaving for the US on Sept. 19 for the UN General Assembly and probably be back on Sept. 29.

Mr. Aquino may meet US President Barack Obama when he visits New York and San Francisco.

Mr. Aquino is excited about what the Philippines can benefit from the Europe trip.

“One thing personally that I want to be able to source from them is assistance for global climate change mitigation efforts,” he said, adding that the country can source significant assistance from members of the European Union.

Mr. Aquino declined to divulge details of his meetings, telling reporters in Filipino, “Let’s wait until there’s a formal agreement on the topics because there are many countries there from the EU and ASEAN.

“All of these side conferences will have to be organized.”

The ASEM was officially established in 1996 at the first summit in Bangkok.

It is an inter-regional forum which consists of the European Commission, the 27 members of the European Union, the 13 members of the ASEAN Plus Three regional grouping and, as of 2008, India, Mongolia, and Pakistan.

Mr. Aquino will address the 65th UN General Assembly when he visits the US from Sept. 20 to 26, the Department of Foreign Affairs said.

In a report posted in the DFA’s official website, Mr. Aquino is also set to meet his counterparts in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the US during the visit.

His address to the 65th UNGA, a gathering of over 150 heads of state/government in New York, will be the highlight of his visit, the report added. The President will also meet UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

“The theme of 65th UNGA, ‘Reaffirming the Central Role of the United Nations in Global Governance,’ is fully aligned with President Aquino’s platform of institutionalizing good governance and combating poverty,” the DFA said.

On the same day, Mr. Aquino will be coordinator for the 2nd ASEAN-US Leaders Meeting in New York.

The Philippines serves as Country Coordinator for ASEAN-US Dialogue relations for the period of 2009 to 2012.

Mr. Aquino was originally scheduled to visit Indonesia and Vietnam first but the trips were deferred due to unforeseen domestic concerns.

After consultations with Jakarta and Hanoi, the President’s official visits to the two capitals are being rescheduled before or after the ASEAN Summit in Hanoi in October.

The ASEAN-US Leaders Meeting will also provide an occasion for Mr. Aquino to meet not only with the ASEAN leaders but also with Obama.

The $434-million Millennium Challenge Compact agreement between the Philippine government and the US Millennium Challenge Corp. is also expected to be signed in New York during his visit.

This funding assistance will be channeled to the Aquino administration programs on poverty reduction, revenue generation and infrastructure development.

Mr. Aquino will also seize the opportunities presented by his US trip to achieve his government’s priorities to attract investors, create jobs at home, alleviate poverty and modernize the country’s infrastructure.

He will have business meetings with CEOs and key executives of major US corporations in New York and San Francisco.

These include meetings with the corporate leaders of Coach, Luen Thai, IBM, JP Morgan, Sutherland, Automatic Data Processing and Hewlett Packard.

Mr. Aquino will also meet with the members of the Filipino-American community in New York and in San Francisco.

The Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) estimated 2.84 million Filipinos in the US, which account for 34 percent of total overseas Filipinos and for 42 percent of remittances to the Philippines.

In San Francisco, he will have a roundtable discussion with Filipinos who have achieved success in the US in the fields of science, technology and engineering (ST&E) and request them to come home and help build the country.

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