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‘Inclusive growth’ chosen APEC 2015 theme

The Philippines has chosen “inclusive growth” as the theme for the APEC Leaders’ Summit which will be held here in November next year.

Guillermo Luz, private sector coordinator for the National Organizing Committee (NOC) for APEC 2015, told reporters the summit will have a theme revolve around “inclusive growth” idea.

“Everything is all set. We have chosen the theme and it is on ‘inclusive growth’,” Luz said. The Aquino administration has been trumpeting the idea of “inclusive growth” as its centerpiece since it assumed power in 2010. It means growth for everyone and that no one is left behind.

Documents obtained during an NOC meeting showed five proposed themes for APEC 2015. These are “Shared Prosperity towards Stability and Inclusivity,” “Weaving a Prosperous and Equitable Asia-Pacific Community”, “Harnessing the Asia Pacific Towards Equitable Progress,” “Weaving Inclusive Future,” and “Stronger Bonds for an Equitable Future.”

“The public and private calendar is complete and we are ready to brief the media. The government is also expected to make a formal announcement after the holding of the APEC Leaders’ Summit in Beijing sometime in November this year,” he told reporters.

The Philippines has also chosen priority topics for discussions being identified by the Department of Foreign Affairs. These are Human Capital Development (Promoting Knowledge-based Economies, S&T Education, Innovation, Job Skills Needed by Business in the 21st Century); Regional Economic Integration (Institutional Connectivity, Connectivity Through Services, Regulatory Reform, Ease of Doing Business, Strengthening Financial Markets, Mainstreaming SMMEs); Sustainability and Resilience (Business Continuity, Disaster Risk Reduction and Management, Food Security, Climate Change and the Blue Economy).

Luz also said the actual Leaders’ Summit, which will gather heads of states and top business leaders from 21-member countries, will be held in the third week of November in Manila.

In an earlier interview said Luz the organizing committee had settled for Manila as venue of the Leaders’ Summit because it is the entry point and it provides a convenient location to every participant.

Luz also denied that both the Leaders and CEO summits are going to be held in Manila because of security issues.

“The trend now is to bring both leaders and the CEO summits in a big city unlike in the ‘90s when the trend was to bring these meetings far from the city because it was like a leaders’ retreat,” Luz said.

Last year, the APEC leaders and CEO summits were held in Bali, which has two convention centers, and the year before that was in Vladivostok. This year’s APEC will be held in Beijing.

He, however, said that ministerial and senior officials meetings on the run-up to the summit will be held in other cities in the country, including Subic and Clark.