PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte is now in Papua New Guinea for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting this weekend.
The plane that took Duterte from Singapore landed at the Jacksons International Airport in Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea which is hosting the November 17-18 summit for the first time since joining the APEC in 1993.
Duterte was in Singapore for four days for the 33rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and meetings with other Asia Pacific leaders.
During the APEC Summit, Malacañang said the President will work with the leaders of the 21-nation grouping to affirm the multilateral trading system and uphold the role of APEC as the forum for addressing issues, leveraging on the region’s economic growth and pursuing open markets.
Duterte will also rally support for micro, small and medium enterprises through continued development and facilitating their access to the global marketplace.
He will also help formulate a new and inclusive APEC Vision beyond the year 2020 and will highlight the Philippines’ efforts to ensure food security for its people and advance economic opportunities for women.
His activities include a dialogue with prominent business leaders during the summit of chief executive officers of the APEC Business Advisory Council and separate meetings with International Monetary Fund officials and leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum, an intergovernmental organization composed of 18 states, including Australia and New Zealand.
His official delegation is composed of Secretaries Teodoro Locsin Jr. (foreign affairs), Carlos Dominguez III (finance), Emmanuel Piñol (agriculture), Ramon Lopez (trade), Martin Andanar (communications) and Salvador Panelo (presidential spokesperson).
No specific bilateral meeting has been set yet for Duterte during the APEC meeting. The President, however, will touch base with the Filipino community in Papua New Guinea, numbering around 40,000, on Friday night.
Duterte’s visit to Papua New Guinea is a first for a Philippine leader, prompting Manila’s envoy to the southwestern Pacific country to call it “highly significant.”
Philippine Ambassador to Papua New Guinea Bienvenido Tejano said Prime Minister Peter O’Neill is excited to meet Duterte again.
Duterte hosted O’Neill in Malacañang on May 16, which culminated in the signing of the agriculture cooperation agreement aimed at boosting food security in both countries.