LEGAZPI CITY: The economy and tourism industry of Bicol is expected to perk up as the province of Albay is set to host major economic meetings beginning in 2014 until the 2015 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) here.
Albay is hosting for the first time at least ten major ministerial economic conventions of the 63 business events in the upcoming APEC summit in Philippines.
Business and investment is now booming in the province specifically in Legazpi City as business hub, university belt and seats of government in Bicol region.
The Albay provincial government of through Gov. Joey Salceda bid to host the APEC summit in 2015—he presented before the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) why Albay should be chosen as the next venue for world leaders’ summit.
Albay, home of the world’s most perfect and active Mayon volcano is the country’s model for climate change adaptation and mitigation measures. As tribute to such governance, the Asian Development Bank had tapped Albay governor Salceda a year ago as the country’s lone representative at the Asian Green Governors Roundtable Conference, a sideline event of the APEC meetings in Singapore.
APEC member countries and those negotiating a post-2012 climate change agreement served as a practical platform for dialogue leading to action at the national and provincial levels to leverage public and private sector investment.
In the upcoming 2015 APEC summit, Salceda told The Manila Times that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the lead agency in charge of APEC summit preparations finally gave Albay the go-ahead to host at least 10 events.
“Ten out of 63 ministerial events will be held in Albay focusing on trade and investment and intellectual property rights. Trade is the topmost level meeting of the ministers in the APEC summit where major concerns of the Pacific-rim countries will be tackled,” Salceda told The Manila Times.
APEC events will start in December 2014 and end by November 2015. But the biggest event according to Salceda is set on October 2015 in Albay but he declined to divulge the details.
APEC is a forum of 21 member-economies that include the Philippines, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, US and Vietnam.
The Philippines first hosted the APEC summit in 1996. The Philippines will host the APEC summit in 2015, as announced in last year’s meeting in Russia. Indonesia hosts the 2013 gathering, and China will host the 2014 meet. The venue of the meeting rotates annually among the member-economies.
The 21 Pacific Rim countries (member-economies), which seek to promote free trade and economic cooperation throughout the Asia-Pacific region, established the APEC in 1989 in response to the growing interdependence of Asia-Pacific economies and the advent of regional trade blocs in other parts of the world.
Through the APEC summit meeting, Salceda hopes to expedite the construction of Bicol International Airport in Alobo village in Daraga town, while other investments are expected to rise here with the construction of international airport in Albay.
The APEC summit venue will be held in Misibis Bay Hotel Resort in Cagraray Island, Bacacay town and in The Oriental Hotel in the Beverly Hills of Legazpi City.