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Philippine economy seen gaining from APEC summit

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By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte’s attendance to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in Papua New Guinea will not only benefit the Philippines but also its overall economy over the next several years, Malacañang said.

Duterte had a “fruitful” and “productive” participation in the three-day regional summit with 20 other economic leaders held in Port Moresby, said Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo in a statement.

Among the events the chief executive attended were the APEC Business Advisory Council meeting, Pacific Islands Forum leaders dialogue, and the International Monetary Fund informal dialogue session.

“During his meetings with our neighbors, friends and allies in APEC, the President actively engaged in important discussions and advanced our country’s priorities in what we consider as the most important economic cooperation platform in the world,” Panelo said.

Duterte committed to continuously take part in and contribute to the APEC Forum as he stated that the Philippines’ trade with APEC countries account for 84 percent of its total trade worldwide, with 82 percent of the country’s merchandise exports destined for the APEC region, he added.

Eighty-five percent of all imports to the Philippines come from its economic partners in APEC, while 83 percent of tourist arrivals to the country come from the APEC region, the Palace official said.

“The Chief Executive likewise interacted with the members of the Filipino community who work and reside in Papua New Guinea. Close to 40,000 of our countrymen and over 200 Philippine companies operate in this Pacific nation contributing to its overall domestic economy,” Panelo said.

“Finally, the President personally commended his good friend Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’ Neill for his country’s successful hosting of this year’s APEC Forum and likewise expressed his gratitude for the warmth and hospitality the Prime Minister and his people extended to the President and the rest of the Philippine delegation,” the spokesman concluded.