PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino 3rd on Friday morning arrived from what he described as a “successful” and “significant” four-day official trip to China and Myanmar where he represented the Philippines in two key regional meetings.
In his arrival speech, Aquino said his participation was timely because along with their collective efforts to push for progress, countries also have to face challenges that know no boundaries, among them climate change, the spread of Ebola virus and terrorism.
The President attended the 22nd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Meeting in Beijing, and the 25th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit in Naypyidaw.
“In every minute that we stayed in Beijing and Naypyidaw, we showed to the world that Filipinos care for their fellowmen, and we face problems instead of running away from them and are willing to cooperate [with other nations]to face the challenges” he said.
The APEC meeting, according to the President, gave him the opportunity to establish rapport with leaders of Latin American nations.
He said his meetings with leaders of Vietnam, Chile, Peru, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Australia, India and China at the sidelines of the APEC and Asean gatherings were very productive.
Among the topics he discussed with them, Aquino added, were good governance, agricultural development, improved bilateral trade and initiatives related to education and tourism.
He said he also took the opportunity to invite fellow leaders of APEC member-economies to the Philippines when the country hosts the 23rd APEC Summit next year.
“It’s a good chance to prove to the world that it’s indeed more fun in the Philippines. I am sure that with our people’s cooperation, we will fare well even when compared with what China did [in hosting APEC]. I am very thankful to those who have expressed their support and confidence as we host APEC next year,” the President added.
He said he is hopeful that the seeds planted during the APEC and Asean summits would bear fruit.
“We vigorously pursued planting the seeds of goodwill, not only with our neighboring countries but also in other parts of the world. In this way, we can be sure of our lasting success,” Aquino added.
“As we walk together along the straight path, we have proven to the world that the Man of Asia has already risen. He is now ready to chase for a more positive transformation and make his rightful share toward sustainable development” he said.