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PIA Press Release

PGMA to meet with Filipinos in LA before proceeding to Peru

Manila (21 November) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will have a brief stopover in Los Angeles on November 21 to meet with the Filipino community before proceeding to Peru to join other leaders from the 21 Asia-Pacific economies for the 16th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders´ Summit scheduled on Nov. 22-23 in Lima.

The President's meeting with the Filipino community will be held at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel here at around 6 p.m. on Friday. She is scheduled to leave Los Angeles at 8:30 p.m. for the nine-hour flight to Lima.

President Arroyo is expected to arrive in Lima's Jorge Chavez International Airport early morning on Nov. 22 where a Peruvian welcome ceremony awaits her and the 19 other APEC leaders.

The President's lean delegation includes Trade Secretary Peter Favila, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo and Press Secretary Jesus Dureza.

At noontime on Nov. 22, the President and the other APEC leaders will be accorded the official welcome and greetings and the APEC traditional handshakes (in the APEC alphabetical order) with APEC 2008 host Peruvian President Alan Garcia Perez at the entrance lobby of the Peruvian Ministry of Defense (MoD) Convention Center at Pentagonito in Lima.

President Arroyo will then join the 20 Economic Leaders at the Leaders´ Retreat in roundtable discussions and meetings at the Bolognesi Room of the MoD Convention Center with the APEC Peru 2008 theme, "A New Commitment to the Asia-Pacific Development."

The APEC leaders will meet over lunch and resume their roundtable discussions in the afternoon session.

APEC is an agreement mechanism with a regional and inter-governmental range that groups the 21 Asia-Pacific economies of Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, People´s Republic of China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, USA and Vietnam.

The APEC Leaders will discuss issues in the APEC agenda for the meetings of the 21 APEC Leaders and the pre-Summit conferences and sessions by 55 Ministers and High Level Officials from the APEC region on the global economic issues; the APEC support for the WTO Doha Round negotiations; APEC Regional Economic Integration Agenda; SMEs; Corporate Social Responsibility; Human Security; APEC Institutional Reform; Trade and Investment Deliverables; Structural Reform; Anti-Corruption and Transparency; Economic and Technical Cooperation; Climate Change and the APEC Food System.

After the first APEC Leaders´ Retreat, the President and the other APEC leaders will meet with the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), the principal economic and business advisory group composed of think tanks, business and financial experts, investment leaders and CEOs from the Asia-Pacific community.

After the APEC Leaders´ Retreat 1 and the Leaders´ Dialogue sessions with ABAC at the MoD Convention Center, the APEC leaders will be feted at a gala dinner and cultural performance at the Caceres Esplanade at the MoD Complex.

On the second day (Nov. 23), President Arroyo and the other APEC Leaders will hold their Retreat 2 at the MoD Convention Center. At the close of the Leaders´ 2 Retreat, the APEC Leaders will have their official group photographed while clad in special Peruvian ensemble following APEC tradition.

President Arroyo will join the APEC Peru 2008 Final Declaration Ceremony at the MoD Auditorium with presiding APEC 2008 host Peruvian President Garcia Perez and the incoming APEC 2009 host Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore.

The President will be accorded departure courtesies along with the other APEC leaders at the MoD Departure Hall after the Leaders Closing Luncheon at the Government Palace.

The Philippines joined the APEC in November 1989 and assumed the chairmanship in 1996 when it hosted the 4th APEC gathering in Subic and Manila.

The APEC 2008 forum is a timely gathering of world leaders in view of the global financial crunch to focus and address major issues that affect the region and the world.

The forum is especially significant at this time with the APEC economies representing about 50 percent of the world's total trade.

With the global economy in a precarious state, President Arroyo regards the APEC forum and other gatherings of world leaders as crucial opportunities to further boost international trade, diplomatic relations, business and investment opportunities both in the bilateral and multilateral levels to sustain the country's economic development. (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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