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PIA Press Release

PGMA's 5-day trip to China kicks off today

Manila (October 23) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo embarks today on a five-day trip to China where she will attend the 7th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) as well as promote the country's automobile and electronics industry, from October 24 to 25.

President Arroyo, who will leave at about 7 a.m. from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2, will first fly to Wuhan in Hubei province to meet possible investors in the Philippines' automotive industry before proceeding to Beijing.

Aside from the electronics and automotive industry, the President is expected to promote and possibly entice Chinese businessmen to invest in the tobacco industry and other industries that will probably find a niche in the Chinese market.

From Wuhan in Hubei province, the President will fly to the Chinese capital to build and buttress bridges with allies in Asia and Europe to address the global credit crunch.

The President will be in Beijing on Friday (Oct. 24) in time for the opening ceremonies of the biennial summit aimed at expanding and deepening dialogue and mutually beneficial cooperation between Asia and Europe.

At the ASEM, President Arroyo is expected to participate in the discussions on global issues particularly world economy, the financial situation, sustainable development, international and regional development, as well as deepening dialogues among civilizations.

The current global financial crunch is expected to be tackled in ASEM's summit, the theme of which is "Vision and Action -- Towards a Win-Win Solution."

President Arroyo said earlier that the global financial crisis, among other major issues, will be discussed in the summit. She had urged developing and emerging economies "to unite and come up with a coordinated approach to cushion the impact of a collapse of highly developed economies."

The President had proposed that the "ASEAN + 3" convene on the sidelines of the ASEM Summit to tackle the impact of the current credit crunch.

"ASEAN + 3" is composed of the 10 member countries of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietman and the three Asian countries to the north, namely, China, Japan and South Korea.

Founded in 1996, ASEM's members now include the ASEAN, the ASEAN Secretariat, the 27 nations of the European Union (EU), the European Commission; and China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, India, Mongolia and Pakistan. (PIA 8) [top]

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