By Rey E. Requejo | Manila Standard
President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has accepted an invitation to attend the forthcoming face-to-face Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Thailand from Nov. 18-19.
The annual summit will return into a face-to-face meeting since 2018, after the 2019 summit in Chile was canceled due to protests in the said country, while the last two editions were held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The APEC Summit, established in 1989, has become the pre-eminent economic forum in the Asia-Pacific region.
The summit’s primary purpose is to promote sustainable economic growth, trade and investment, and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Thai government sent its invitation during the courtesy call of ASEAN ambassadors to Marcos on June 6.
Marcos said that while he has already met some of the ambassadors in the past, he was glad to meet them as a group, noting how ASEAN has become a very important regional organization.
He said he was confident that ASEAN will play a vital role in the region’s quick economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thailand will host the APEC 2022 summit, which will focus on the importance of facilitating the resumption of safe and convenient cross-border travel to hasten the region’s speedy and robust economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, Marcos said he is optimistic the fruitful diplomatic relationship and friendship between the Philippines and China will continue under his administration.
“The centuries-old relationship and friendship of the Philippines and China has been and will continue to be of great mutual benefit to our people, from trade, arts, culture, athletics to regional peace and stability to the employment of opportunities for our people, and all the significantly generous efforts extended to us during the pandemic, the cooperative partnership of our donations continue to reach new heights,” Marcos said in his speech during the 21st Filipino-Chinese Friendship Day.
Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian, for his part, said China and the Philippines have “better reasons to work closely” amid global uncertainties.
“The international and regional situations are undergoing fast, profound and complex changes, and the world is entering yet another period of turbulence and transformation,” Huang said.
“China and the Philippines are close neighbors with a shared future and common stakes in Asia. Facing the global uncertainties, the two countries have better reasons to work closely to jointly tackle challenges, focus on peace and development, and strive to boost win-win cooperation,” the Chinese ambassador said.