Nov 302014
Benigno Aquino III

President Benigno Aquino III. AP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines–President Benigno Aquino III will lead the kick off ceremony of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) 2015 on Monday.

Aquino, together with his Cabinet secretaries, will attend the launching ceremony at the Green Sun Hotel in Makati City on Monday evening.

As the host of next year’s Apec CEO summit, the Philippine government is set to hold a series of meetings in preparation for the conference.

Among the officials who will be present at the launch are Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr., Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr.

Domingo said local businessmen will also be present.

“While the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has lined up several activities as the country chairs Apec in 2015 and hosts the 23rd Apec Economic Leaders’ Meeting, we aim to spur greater private sector participation and generate new prospects for local and foreign businesses to flourish,” Domingo said in a statement.

He said next year’s series of summits will offer opportunities for local enterprises.

“In the country’s hosting next year, we seek to underscore the significance of the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country’s economy, and their role and integration in global supply chains,” Domingo said.

The Apec is a forum for 21 member economies with coastlines along the Pacific Ocean. It aims to promote free trade and economic cooperation in the region.

The Philippines is among the founding members that acceded in November 1989.

The other members are: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, People’s Republic of China,

Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand,

Papua New Guinea, Peru, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, United States and Vietnam.

The last time the Philippines hosted the Apec was in 1996.

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