President Duterte greets soldiers at the First Subaraw Biodiversity Festival held at the People’s Ampitheater in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan on Nov. 10.
At APEC summit, Duterte to pitch for MSMEs
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - November 13, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — From the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Singapore, President Duterte will fly to Papua New Guinea on Thursday for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Meeting where he is expected to make a pitch for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and multilateral trade.

“This is a new era for Filipino engagement on the world stage. The Asia-Pacific region represents the epicenter of global growth, making APEC the most important economic cooperation platform in the world,” Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Ernesto Abella said at a press briefing in Malacañang yesterday.

Duterte will join 20 other leaders and representatives of APEC economies in discussing trade and other key issues at the Leaders’ Meeting from Nov. 17 to 18.

It will be the first time for Papua New Guinea to host the event since joining the forum in 1993.

“As one of the best performing economies in the fastest growing region in the world, the Philippines has much to contribute as well as much to gain from a fruitful discussion with our neighbors, friends and allies in APEC,” Abella said.

Abella said Duterte will join a dialogue with prominent business leaders at the summit of chief executive officers of the APEC Business Advisory Council.

The Philippine leader will also meet with leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum, an inter-governmental group that seeks to strengthen the cooperation between countries and territories in the Pacific.

“The President joins other leaders in affirming commitment to an international rules-based regime, support of the multilateral trading system embodied by organizations like the World Trade Organization,” Abella said.

“The President conveys his support for mechanisms that will enable our MSMEs... to take advantage of digital and online platforms to benefit their enterprises and to bring their products and services overseas,” he added.

Abella said this year’s summit would have a greater emphasis on MSMEs, which employ more than half of the Philippines’ workforce.

He said the event would also highlight the need to make development more inclusive in an increasingly digital world.

“Since we are orienting the nation towards being able to participate in the increasingly digital world, that is also going to be the emphasis not just of the forum itself but also the President, making sure that our own economies are more inclusive and are more participative, especially for the smaller groups,” Abella said.

The President is also expected to support an inclusive APEC vision that would support efforts to ensure food security and provide economic opportunities for women, Abella added.

Before attending the APEC Leaders’ Meeting, Duterte will meet with the Filipino community in Port Moresby. Papua New Guinea hosts about 40,000 Filipino workers and over 200 Philippine companies.

SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES ASIA-PACIFIC ECONOMIC COOPERATION ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS MICRO
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