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Palace on APEC hosting: Gains surpassed losses

Patricia Lourdes Viray - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines — The advantages of hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) this year surpassed the losses it incurred, Malacañang said on Friday.

"Looking at (the) big picture, losses incurred this week will be recovered eventually in terms of continuing and sustained growth and development of the Philippine economy as a favored investment and tourism destination,"  by Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said.

The country spent almost P10 billion for hosting the year-long economic meetings in the country, which were held in Metro Manila, Cebu, Pampanga, Iloilo, Tagaytay and Boracay Island.

Coloma pointed out that good governance requires decisions on what would be the best for the country and what would serve people's long-term interest.

The Palace official admitted that there would be differences in viewpoints but assured that the government is willing to engage all stakeholders in a dialogue. He added that they will also be considered for improvement.

"Reasonable criticism is always welcome in a healthy democracy," Coloma said.

The government drew flak over heavy traffic due to road closures during the high-level event in Metro Manila.

READ: APEC security task force apologizes for traffic mess

Several roads were closed to accommodate the vehicles of APEC delegates and leaders who were in the country.

Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, meanwhile, said that the APEC provided a venue to further enhance economic and trade relationships among its member economies.

The country's export rose more than 15 times due to stronger tie-up with APEC member economies. Trade rose to $21 trillion from $3 trillion before APEC, the finance secretary said.

Purisima noted that the administration of President Benigno Aquino III prepared the country for partnerships as it opened more than 90 percent of domestic activity to foreign investors.

"The beauty of APEC is it gives us voice in important fora," Purisima said, adding that technical resource training and other similar support have been strengthened because of APEC.

The finance chief stressed that APEC is an opportunity to showcase the importance of good governance for a sound economy. Eight APEC member economies are also members of G20—Australia, Canada, China, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Mexico and Russia.

The APEC leaders concluded their annual meeting by releasing a joint declaration.

FULL TEXT: APEC 2015 leaders' declaration | INFOGRAPHIC: 5 main points of 2015 APEC declaration

APEC

ASIA PACIFIC ECONOMIC COOPERATION

COLOMA

FINANCE SECRETARY CESAR PURISIMA

METRO MANILA

MEXICO AND RUSSIA

PRESIDENT BENIGNO AQUINO

PRESIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS SECRETARY HERMINIO COLOMA JR.

PURISIMA

QUOT

SOUTH KOREA

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