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Saturday, November 15, 2014

PNoy Back from China, Myanmar Trip, Says PH-China Move to Better Relations

 President Aquino is back in Manila from a five-day trip to China and Myanmar where he sought to improve diplomatic and economic relations with neighbors in the Asia-Pacific region. The President arrived in Manila early Friday basking in the “good news” from his “short” yet “productive” foreign journey, that included warming ties with China and potential investments from some pharmaceutical companies in the country.
Aquino seized the opportunity to promote the country’s interests during the 22nd Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Beijing, China held from November 9 to 11 before traveling to Myanmar for the 25th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) assembly.
“Our attendance to the two regional summits was timely because while there are collective efforts to foster economic development, there are challenges that recognize no border such as climate change, Ebola virus and terrorism. In every minute we were in Beijing and Nay Pyi Taw, we showed our solidarity in facing problems instead of avoiding them as well as readiness to cooperate in addressing these challenges,” Aquino said in his arrival statement.
“We have also seen the effectiveness of face-to-face dialogue with various world leaders. Through this method, mutual trust is formed and bilateral relations are enhanced,” he added.
At the APEC summit, the President said he had fruitful dialogues with the leaders of Vietnam, Chile, Peru, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Australia, India, and China on promoting good governance, agricultural development and fostering increased trade and investments. To strengthen people-to-people cooperation, the leaders also agreed to strengthen initiatives on education and tourism. 

Aquino also shared the results of his brief conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping amid the territorial dispute in the West Philippine Sea.
“We expressed gratitude for the warm hospitality given to our delegation and the opportunity to start the process towards better relations,” Aquino said.
“We also mentioned our primary goal is to promote the welfare of our people and this is the basis of our decisions,” he added.
Aquino also highlighted his productive meeting with Prime Minister Peter O’Neill of Papua New Guinea on efforts to bolster economic ties between the two nations, particularly exchanges in information on agriculture and fisheries, among others. He said the Papua New Guinea leader cited the influx of Papuans to the Philippines for education and medical tourism.  Aquino said he felt Papua New Guinea not only opened its doors to the Philippines but also rolled out the “red carpet.”
Aquino also had a lengthy meeting with his Thai counterpart at the APEC assembly — Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-Cha over issues on good governance reforms.  Prime Minister Chan-o-Cha invited Aquino to visit Thailand at the end of their meeting.
While in Beijing, the President also held a flurry of meetings with top officials of foreign companies, including Moody’s chief executive officer Raymond McDaniel who praised Aquino for his handling of the PH economy that resulted in the country’s rare credit rating upgrades for robust growth and fiscal management.
Based on the foreign rating agency’s assessment of world banking systems, Aquino said only the country’s banking system got a positive outlook.
On the sidelines of the APEC summit, Aquino also met officials of pharmaceutical firm Sanofi who revealed that the firm is currently testing vaccines against four types of dengue in its plants in Asia and Latin America.  Aquino said it won’t be long when the vaccines would reach the PH.
Another multinational firm, Johnson and Johnson’s told Aquino that they intend to establish a service center in the county that will generate 500 local jobs and offer medicines for patients with tuberculosis.
Before he left Beijing, Aquino said he formally invited fellow APEC leaders to attend next year’s 23rd summit in the country. He said this was a good opportunity to show the world that “it’s more fun in the Philippines.” With the cooperation of Filipinos, Aquino is optimistic the PH will not lose face before the international community even though this year’s host, China, has more resources and people compare to the country. 

At the regional summit in Myanmar, the President said Southeast Asian leaders forged agreements not only to increase cooperation in the face of new challenges but also to complete the crafting of the ASEAN Community Integration before the end of December 2015.
Once the integration is enforced, Aquino said more Filipino products and services can tap the ASEAN market of 600 million people.
As we march on the straight path, we are proving to ourselves and the world: The Sick Man of Asia has long recovered. It is ready to sustain the positive transformation and to be a partner towards inclusive growth,” he added.
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