Traffic disruptions and paralyzed businesses aside, the Philippines’ hosting of the 2015 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit came at an opportune time, an economist said.
“We are ready to host . . . we are doing it the height of our growth spurt,” said Alvin Ang, economics professor at Ateneo de Manila university.
“The Philippines’ goodwill from hosting the event is definitely bound to be a big boost to the country’s investment climate,” he added.
“This is not a zero sum game, the gains are ranging from short to long term.”
The Philippines has been cited as an emerging economy with positive prospects, a detail frequently stressed by the government.
As the country played host to the 21-member forum’s annual gathering, however, the leaders’ week in Metro Manila came with a forced two-day holiday for business, four days of closed government offices and schools, massive flight cancellations and horrendous traffic for residents.
The Aquino administration has been criticized for the way it facilitated the summit, including a scheme to keep the homeless away from the streets to present a cleaner metropolis.
Ang, however, said Filipinos would in the long run benefit from a successful APEC. The challenge for the government, he added, is selling the idea—something it should have done before this week’s disruptions occurred.
“Well this is probably where the government’s challenge is, they were not able to explain it to the people very well,” Ang said.