Colombian president arrives in Manila as APEC observer
Rosette Adel (Philstar.com) - November 16, 2015 - 2:21am

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Monday afternoon arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Meeting as an observer.

Santos, who was welcomed by Budget Secretary Florencio "Butch" Abad and other officials, was initially scheduled to arrive on Monday morning but his arrival was moved Monday afternoon.

Non-APEC member Colombia earlier accepted the invitation of President Benigno Aquino III to be an observer during the APEC meeting. Colombia is the sole non-APEC country invited to the APEC summit.

 

 

After his arrival, Santos will head to Makati Shangri-la as he is one of the speakers at the opening session of APEC at the Summit Focus on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, an open forum discussion on “The Next New Fontier.”

He will lead the speech to be delivered before 800 entrepreneurs with Chinese Taipei’s Economic Leader, Vincent Siew, who also arrived on Monday afternoon.

Santos is the second head of state to arrive in Manila for the APEC summit.

Colombia applied for APEC membership as early as 1995. However, its bid was halted several times following the rule to stop accepting new members from 1993 to 1996 and due to the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis.

Reports said the country’s invitation to Colombia gave a possibility that APEC will receive Colombia as an organization member.

ACIRC APEC ASIA-PACIFIC ECONOMIC COOPERATION ASIAN FINANCIAL CRISIS BUDGET SECRETARY FLORENCIO CHINESE TAIPEI COLOMBIA COLOMBIAN PRESIDENT JUAN MANUEL SANTOS ECONOMIC LEADER PACIFIC ALLIANCE QUOT
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