8:45 pm | Tuesday, June 4th, 2013
MANILA, Philippines — President Aquino and some members of his Cabinet will fly to Burma (Myanmar) on Friday to seek foreign capital and tourism dollars at the annual gathering of global leaders from business and politics–the World Economic Forum (WEF) on East Asia–which convenes in Naypyitaw, the new Burmese capital city and administrative center.
“The main reason for attending the forum is to invite foreign investors to come to the Philippines and, of course, to attract tourists as well,” said Ramon Carandang, head of the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office.
“We’re going to try to reach a broad range of investors–of potential investors. [This is] similar to what happened in Davos except that here, where there’s a focus on East Asia, many of the businessmen will be from our part of the world,” he said.
This will be Mr. Aquino’s first visit to Burma and the first by a Philippine president since 1997.
The President will be accompanied on the one-day trip by Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad Jr., Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo, Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla, Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras and Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez.
The President’s team is also expected to observe Burma’s hosting of the WEF as the Philippines will host the meeting next year. “By tradition, the incoming host personally invites the delegates to the summit,” said Carandang.
Aside from the WEF meeting, the President is scheduled to hold discussions with Burmese President Thein Sein.
He is also scheduled to meet Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, chair of Burma’s opposition party, the National League for Democracy.
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