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President Rodrigo Duterte / PCOO

Virtual APEC Leaders’ Meeting set on Nov. 20 

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President Rodrigo Duterte will participate in the upcoming virtual summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum on Nov. 20, according to a report by Philippine News Agency.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque confirmed the President’s attendance in the APEC forum in a Palace press briefing.

“This is on Nov. 20. Magsisimula po ito sa gabi. Magkakaroon po sila ng Leaders’ family photo ng gabi pagkatapos po magkakaroon sila ng dalawang session na kung di ako nagkakamali, maikli lang naman po yung mga session tapos magkakaroon sila ng break tapos final session (It will start at night. There will be a Leaders’ family photo at night and there will be two sessions, and if I’m not mistaken, they’re just short sessions then there will be a break and a final session),” he said.

Roque said the APEC summit will start at around 7 p.m. or 8 p.m. (Philippine time).

This year’s summit, which will be hosted by Malaysia, will be the first time economic leaders from APEC’s 21 member economies meet virtually.

Malaysia adjusted its hosting year to a digital format after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) situation as pandemic.

APEC Economic Leaders’ are expected to produce a declaration reflecting Malaysia’s theme of “Optimizing Human Potential towards a Resilient Future of Shared Prosperity. Pivot, Prioritize, Progress.”

Leaders are also expected to set a new vision which will build on APEC’s goal of free and open trade and investment, known as the Bogor Goals, whose deadline is this year.

Last year's summit was canceled following unrest in Chile, then the APEC host.

APEC is comprised of Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States, and Vietnam.

Over 5.7 million Filipinos overseas reside in the APEC region, contributing 57 percent of remittances to the Philippines.

The country’s trade with APEC economies comprises 84 percent of the Philippines total trade worldwide, with 82 percent of the Philippine merchandise exports destined for the APEC region.

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