DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/17 November) – The Philippines will highlight the “ease of doing business” in the country during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Lima, Peru on November 19 to 20 to show its readiness to accommodate investors, President Rodrigo Duterte said.
In his departure speech Thursday at the F. Bangoy International Airport, Duterte said he will cite [his] 10-point socioeconomic program, which includes ease of doing business, reforms in governance, massive investment in infrastructure, rural development and increased investments in human capital.
Over 200 leaders and key senior officials of the 21-member APEC will attend the summit.
“This is an important opportunity for the Philippines to work closely with economic partners in the region to take stock of the efforts to facilitate economic growth and prosperity in Asia Pacific and to determine ways of moving forward to achieve shared goals,” Duterte said,.
He said he will do all that he can to enable businesses, including the micro, small and medium enterprises, to thrive and flourish in the country.
He said he will banner his administration’s efforts to address corruption and criminality as “building blocks of a strong and resilient economy aimed at inclusive and continued growth.”
Duterte has drawn attention from the international community for throwing expletives at US President Barrack Obama, the UN and European Union for their criticisms on the spate of alleged extrajudicial killings in relation to the campaign against criminality, the war on drugs in particular.
“As I have said before, your government is working very hard to make sure that our economy will finally take flight. I really hope so. Nasa runway lang tayo hanggang ngayon,” he said.
He emphasized the need to harness the potentials of the Asia-Pacific region to benefit all the people “in the march for greater progress and prosperity,” while emphasizing that “human development is at the core of this program for inclusive growth and sustainable development.”
He told the Filipinos and the country’s businesses to further deepen and broaden engagement with Southern American countries as economic partners.
“Our people are at the core of the program on inclusive growth and sustainable development. We will spare no effort to realize this in the context of APEC. This will be my first official visit to South America, with whom we share a meaningful history and centuries-old affinity,” he said.
The APEC website announced that leaders and ministers of the 21 APEC members, the world’s largest regional economic group, are convening this week in Lima to re-shape globalization and trade policy as concerns over its capacity to deliver more inclusive socio-economic progress escalate in the Pacific Rim and beyond.
It is aimed to “expand economic opportunities for groups that have reaped fewer benefits from open, integrated markets in the past, improving growth and living standards for the 3 billion people of a region that accounts for half of trade and 60 per cent of GDP worldwide.”
State leaders will also prioritize the establishment of conditions that make participation in cross-border trade and supply chains easier for small businesses, which account for more than 97 per cent of all firms and the majority of employment in the region.
“Support for more business-compatible, productive work forces through education reform and enhanced skills development and career training is a further emphasis,” it said.
It added that representatives of the APEC Business Advisory Council will present their own policy recommendations to the region’s leaders and ministers over the course of the week. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)