Leaders from 21 Asia-Pacific Economies are meeting this week in Bangkok, the culmination of a year-long hosting of their forum with the motto “Open. Connect. Balance.”
The two-day Economic Leaders Meeting will take place starting Friday, preceded by a series of gatherings from Monday: The Concluding APEC Senior Officials Meeting, as well as the APEC Ministerial Meeting, attended by trade ministers and foreign affairs ministers.
Concurrently, the annual APEC CEO Summit will take place during the week.
Next on APEC’s meeting calendar is the Finance and Central Bank Deputies Meeting which will be held virtually on March 16 to 17.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., representing the Philippines which became a member in November 1989, is expected to lay down his administration’s economic agenda when he meets with his foreign counterparts at the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM) starting tomorrow.
The 65-year-old President will discuss his plans on trade, investment and post-pandemic economic recovery efforts, according to Malacanang.
“The economic leaders from 21 APEC economies will discuss sustainable trade and investment, reconnecting the region and charting our paths toward post-pandemic recovery and inclusive and sustainable growth,” Office of the Press Secretary Officer-in-Charge Cheloy Velicaria-Garafil said during a press briefing.
Filipinos will be closely watching the APEC gathering of heads of state and government which will also serve as an opportunity for the Philippines to push its economic agenda and priorities.
These include empowerment of the micro, small and medium enterprises, and their inclusion in global-value chains, recognition of the essential role of maritime crews and seafarers in ensuring stable and resilient supply chains, and ensuring food and energy security as well as climate change mitigation and adaptation.
The President is also slated to take part in the APEC CEO Summit where he will have face-to-face discussions with the region’s top business leaders.
“He will meet with top executives of Thai companies to discuss business opportunities, investments and expansion plans,” Velicaria-Garafil said.
Besides his high-level meetings, Marcos will also meet with the Filipino community in Thailand.
This will be the first in-person meeting of the 21-member regional economic bloc since the pandemic hit.
The two previous AELMs were held virtually in 2021 and 2022, hosted by Malaysia and New Zealand, respectively.
The 21 member economies of APEC are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam.
APEC’s member economies are home to more than 2.9 billion people and make up over 60 per cent of global Gross Domestic product. APEC partners make up more than 75 per cent of Australia’s total trade in goods and services.