Duterte backs Chile on APEC meet move

November 02, 2019
Rodrigo Duterte

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte supports Chile’s decision to pull out from hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit this month, Malacañang said.

Chile backed out as host of the Apec Economic Leaders Meeting due to ongoing massive protests.

“The Office of the President therefore expresses the country’s support for Chile as it made the hard decision of cancelling its hosting of the AELM, taking into consideration the interest and concerns of the Chilean people, as its country endured massive street protests that was propelled by a civil disobedience campaign over metro transit fare hikes,” Palace spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Friday in a statement.

Duterte had earlier confirmed his attendance to the APEC Summit, scheduled from November 16 to 17, which will bring together world leaders to discuss trade and investment issues in the Asia-Pacific region.

Panelo said Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. and Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez had also conveyed their interest to participate in the event.

Meanwhile, the Palace official underscored the economic and commercial transactions of the country with economies belonging to APEC.

“In particular, they account for 84% of the total trade of the Philippines worldwide, 82% total exports worldwide, and 85% of its total imports. APEC economies likewise account for 64% of foreign direct investment into the Philippines, and 83% of tourist arrivals,” Panelo said.

Panelo also expressed gratitude to Chile which is home to about 800 Filipinos, mostly women.

“The Palace thanks Chile, which is currently the home to approximately 800 Filipinos, mostly women, for its hard work in advocating for inclusive and sustainable growth in the region, such as by prioritizing women empowerment and promoting micro, small, and medium scale enterprises. We will continue to work to ensure our peoples enjoy the benefits of deeper regional economic integration,” Panelo said.