MANILA — The country’s hosting of this year’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit would mean a lot of economic benefits for the Philippines in the long term, the head of the APEC 2015 National Organizing Council said in an interview.
Director General Marciano A. Paynor Jr. told China Central Television that in the past 10 to 15 years, the Philippines’ trade with APEC’s member economies has grown by 8 percent annually.
An 8 percent growth is a very, very solid case why the Philippines must continue to be part of the APEC, according to Paynor.
The total population of the APEC’s 21 member economies is more than 40 percent of the total global population, making the trade bloc a significant driver in regional growth.
He noted that as the country prepared to host this year’s summit, it has launched a number of infrastructure projects, although some of them are not APEC-related.
Overall, the projects are part of the government’s plan, with or without the APEC, he said, noting that any construction work in any country is a form of pump-priming the economy.
The people, however, must be patient because construction work creates such inconveniences as traffic congestion, Paynor explained, adding that once construction is completed, the people could enjoy a better transport system, roads, and bridges like other economies within the APEC.
The Philippines, in hosting the 2015 APEC Summit, has scattered the initial APEC meetings in different provinces of the country to expose them to investors and tourists who want to put money or travel to the Philippines, Paynor said.
In the case of Cebu, which hosts this month’s APEC meetings, it could gain a lot of benefits for its business and tourism sectors.
The Cebu provincial government, in partnership with a local telecommunications company, has released the updated travel app Cebu Guide for the delegates attending the APEC meetings in the province.
With the release of the app, the delegates can have access to a handy guide about Cebu’s top attractions and latest activities.
The guide lists the island’s attractions such as heritage structures like ancient houses and centuries-old stone churches, white sand beaches and island-hopping destinations, a wide range of land and water activities, the best accommodations, food to try, as well as emergency numbers.
Cebu is hosting the APEC 2015 Third Senior Officials’ Meeting and Related Meetings (SOM 3) from Aug. 22 to Sept. 6
The APEC Summit, one of the world’s most important gathering of key decision-makers from across the globe, focuses on inclusive growth.
This year’s APEC is the first gathering to be held in the Philippines in nearly two decades. The Philippines first hosted the APEC Summit in 1996 during the administration of then president Fidel V. Ramos.