PRESIDENT Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. will attend the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM) in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is expected to focus on tackling matters on food security and climate change mitigation with his fellow heads of state.

In a press briefing on Monday, November 7, 2022, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Assistant Secretary for International Economic Affairs Eric Gerardo Tamayo said Marcos is keen on discussing ways to ensure food security amid global disruptions caused by the pandemic during the AELM, which will be held from November 16 to 19.

“The President will be calling attention to the need to ensure food security, energy security, and also the robust response of Apec economies to the challenge of climate change adaptation and mitigation,” he said.

Marcos will be accompanied by Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo and Trade and Industry Secretary Alfredo Pascual, among others.

Tamayo said Marcos will also push for the Apec, in which the Philippines was a founding member, to revitalize its role as a driver of global economic growth, noting that the region, prior to the pandemic, had been the significant driver of global economic growth and globalization in the world.

Office of the Press Secretary Officer-in-Charge and Undersecretary Cheloy Garafil said Marcos will also attend other related summits where he is expected to discuss plans and priorities of the Philippines in terms of trade, investment and post-pandemic economic recovery.

She said the President will also meet with top business leaders in the region, an opportunity for the country to push for economic agenda and priorities, including empowerment of the micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and their inclusion in global value chains, recognition of the essential role of maritime crews and seafarers in ensuring stable and resilient supply chains, and ensuring food and energy security, as well as climate change mitigation and adaptation.

The 2022 AELM will be the first in-person meeting of Apec amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

DFA spokesperson Ma. Teresita Daza said Apec is responsible for about 85 percent of the Philippines’ trade abroad while its economies account for 82 percent of tourism flows into the country.

She said around 60 percent of overseas Filipino workers are in the Apec member economies and are responsible for 68 percent of the remittance in the country. (SunStar Philippines)