APEC leaders wear leather bush jackets as they pose for the traditional group picture
SYDNEY (8 September) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was garbed in a traditional blue lapelled Australian Drizi-Bone leather bush jacket at the official photograph of the 21 leaders of the member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum.
After weeks of speculations on what the leaders would wear for APEC's most lighthearted moment as Australia lacks of what could be called its national costume, finally today, before the opening of the retreat-style 15th APEC Leaders' Economic Meeting at The Studio of the world-famous Sydney Opera House, the 21 APEC leaders officially posed for the traditional APEC leaders' photograph wearing leather bush jackets.
The official leaders' photograph was taken with the Sydney Opera House as the backdrop.
Contrary to reports that today's Sydney weather would be wet, the sun was out but the leather jacket would add warmth to the leaders as the weather here is chilly.
President Arroyo was in the front row with New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark on her right and Russian President Vladimir Putin on her left.
The Driza-Bone jacket is part of Australia's history and is now a way of life, some even say a state of mind.
By practice, the 21 APEC leaders wear the host country's traditional costume for the official photograph.
Last year, in Hanoi, Vietnam during the 14th APEC Economic Leaders' meeting, President Arroyo wore a pink lotus "ao dai" in silk. (OPS) [top]