May 242015

ASIA-PACIFIC Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministers meeting in Boracay over the weekend said they plan to achieve the economic bloc’s inclusiveness goals by making progress towards Asia-Pacific free trade agreements, and endorsed a Boracay Action Agenda to connect the region’s micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) directly to global markets.

Dec 032013
Phl hosting of APEC still a go, says P-Noy

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines’ scheduled hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in 2015 will push through despite a proposal from a Cabinet member to cancel it, President Aquino assured yesterday.  “There’s a proposal. But I was saying that is there a need to do so? I don’t… At this point, I don’t agree,” he told officers and members of the weekly Bulong Pulungan forum of mostly female veteran journalists at the Sofitel Plaza in Pasay City.  Aquino’s statement was in reply to a query from a businesswoman Sandee Masigan who wanted to hear it from the Chief Executive whether the report was true, since backing out of the APEC 2015 hosting would definitely not do the country any good.  “If it will make the Cabinet or everybody in government feel better, we from the business sector are like really behind you, and we wish and hope and pray that we push through with APEC,” she told the President. Masigan has since been looking forward to the hosting in Manila. “It’s really going to do the country a world of good. So we’re all behind you, if you need anything, we’re all here from the business sector.”  Aquino nonetheless defended the Cabinet member  who made the proposal.  Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1 “In fairness to that particular Cabinet member, iyung given the enormity of the reconstruction, rehabilitation efforts for Yolanda, he was thinking na shouldn’t this be the sole priority, in a sense, at this Read More …

Oct 072013
With Obama out, other leaders take APEC main stage

BALI — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other Asia-Pacific leaders took center stage Monday at a regional summit after President Barack Obama was a no-show due to the U.S. government shutdown. Leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, meeting amid tight security on this tropical island in eastern Indonesia, urged faster work on reforms meant to break down trade barriers and improve competitiveness. But their summit meetings aren’t all work and there are some light moments. Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono took the chance to pick up a guitar and sing his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, a happy 61st birthday. Abe, struggling to extricate Japan from two decades of stagnation, pledged to move ahead with reforms he has promised as part of his “Abenomics” economic strategy. “It’s not easy for a country stuck in deflation for 15 years to get out,” Abe said. He promised measures to ensure that an increase in Japan’s sales tax, which has driven consumer confidence to record lows, does not derail the economic recovery he has nurtured since taking office last December. “Now we can wipe out the doom and gloom atmosphere in the Japanese economy,” Abe said. Speaking to a gathering of business and political leaders, he also sought to reassure other Asian countries, especially those that suffered colonization and invasion before and during World War II, over Japan’s efforts to upgrade its military. “We are aspiring to become a pro-active contributor to stability and security in the world as a country that Read More …

Oct 062013
Palace budget for Aquino’s trip to APEC, ASEAN meets: a modest P14.3M

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III smiles upon his arrival at Bali airport, Indonesia, Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013 to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. AP Photo MANILA, Philippines — Amid the furor over the allocation of additional pork barrel to lawmakers in May 2012, President Aquino is attending two regional summits in Southeast Asia with a budget of P14.3 million. The President left on a chartered flight Sunday morning for Bali, Indonesia to attend the 21st Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic Leaders’ Meeting and CEO Summit from Oct. 6 to 8. Joining him was an 84-member delegation, including Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo, Socio-Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, Cabinet Secretary to the President Jose Rene Almendras, Presidential Management Staff head Julia Andrea Abad, and Presidential Protocol chief Celia Anna Feria. Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and Strategic Communications Secretary Ramon Carandang flew to the island resort ahead of the delegation. The President and the same delegation would later fly to Brunei Darussalam to attend the 23rd ASEAN Summit and Related Meetings from Oct. 9 to 10. Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. said the government earmarked P14.3 million for the President’s attendance at the two summits. This would cover expenses for transportation, accommodation, food and equipment, among others, for Mr. Aquino and the delegation, he said. “I think we’ve had lower [budget] but it’s safe to say that this is a lesser amount… considering this is essentially two trips,’’ deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in Read More …

Oct 062013
US shutdown fears perturb APEC summit

President Barack Obama AP File Photo NUSA DUA, Bali – The US government warned Sunday that business in America was suffering from the federal shutdown as concern about Washington’s policy paralysis was voiced at an Asia-Pacific summit where President Barack Obama was a notable absentee. The first government closure in 17 years has directly affected hundreds of thousands of federal employees, but Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker said companies were also starting to hurt, not least from her department’s inability to collate vital economic data. “The shutdown is not good for business. It’s not good for the economy,” Pritzker told reporters at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum on the Indonesian island of Bali, which Obama has been forced to skip to deal with the political crisis gripping Washington. “And we need to move on with the business of doing business in the United States. So, I am hopeful this gets resolved soon. It’s obviously having an impact,” Pritzker said. Her remarks on the economic impact came after Secretary of State John Kerry warned at the APEC meetings on Saturday that the standoff was “reckless,” and would weaken America’s diplomatic standing abroad if it did not end soon. Apart from APEC, Obama is also missing a separate East Asian summit this week and scheduled trips to Malaysia and the Philippines. His failure to come coincides with a diplomatic push by China in Southeast Asia featuring high-profile visits by President Xi Jinping, who is at APEC. Speaking at a Bali meeting of Read More …