• ‘Defense, trade pacts among APEC gains’

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    PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino 3rd on Thursday night declared the hosting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Manila a “success,” especially for the Philippines that he said gained so much in terms of defense, trade and other forged deals in relation to disaster mitigation.

    “To make the most of this gathering, the Philippines, for its part, took the opportunity to meet with leaders of economies, as well as leaders in the private sector, who had gathered here in Manila. We have taken existing partnerships to a new level. With Mexico, for instance, we committed to work together to combat drug trafficking, which is a common concern of our peoples. With Papua New Guinea, we offered our assistance in supporting their agriculture sector,” the President said in a press conference at the International Media Center.

    The gathering, he said, also formalized the country’s partnership with Vietnam and strengthened comprehensive partnership with Australia.

    “Moving forward, the areas in which we will work more closely together include defense, disaster risk reduction, and food security. We also engaged in dialogue with the Pacific Alliance, which is timely, given their high growth potential and ours,” declared Aquino.

    More than 11,000 visitors from 21 countries arrived in the country, including those from the APEC Business Advisory Council, which traces its origins to the APEC Summit in Subic in 1996 in the Philippines.

    Aquino thanked his fellow leaders for their “collaborative efforts and positive spirit” which, he said, gives the optimism that “we can achieve greater progress sooner rather than later.”

    “We have sought to address the challenges presented by the ever-changing global economic milieu. For instance, we shared ideas on how to encourage technological innovation, while at the same time easing its disruptive effects on the job market by giving rise to more resilient economies,” stressed Aquino.

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