|The Philippine government’s hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2015 summit has been a success, with the meeting agenda successfully concluded and approved by the leaders, the head of the government body that took charge of the Philippine hosting has said.
“In any hosting of a multilateral meeting, the fact that the meeting progresses without any major hitches or no major contentious issues, it is already considered a success,” Ambassador Marciano Paynor, Jr., Director General of the APEC 2015 National Organizing Council, said during a press conference on Thursday.
“I think, even more so now… many of our objectives were actually realized,” he said.
First, Paynor said, was the idea of inclusive growth.
“Most of the economies agreed that inclusive growth is, in fact, something that all of us can agree to,” he said.
Second is the globalization of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), which comprise 90 percent of total manufacturing facilities in the Philippines, he said.
Third is providing MSMEs financing and education as to how to manage their businesses, and fourth is sustainable communities, he said, explaining that when APEC members grow and help communities, they should be able to sustain themselves.
And the only way that they can grow is by having trade and manufacturing concerns addressed by the regional trade bloc, he added.
Paynor however said a lot more work need to be done.
He cited as an example “the very, very low rate” of ease of doing business in the Philippines, where it still takes 25 days to establish or register a business, compared to only a few days in other countries.
“On that particular aspect, I think we need to do something about it. In any case, when the policies are set, the rest is up to us now to work on these things so that in the end, we all benefit from it,” Paynor said.
On the numerous complaints about the traffic jam caused by the APEC hosting, he said every member economy that hosted the APEC had made sacrifices.
“When we host, we know that we have to sacrifice a bit and we don’t host every year. In fact, the last time we hosted was 19 years ago,” he said.
“I think, if we look at it from a different perspective, from the other side of the coin as it were, it’s a little sacrifice compared to the benefits that we will, in the years to come, gain out of membership from APEC,” Paynor said. (PCOO-APEC Communications Team)