Sunday, February 8, 2015

APEC delegates invited to enjoy amenities of Clark Freeport Zone

CLARK FREEPORT ZONE, Angeles City-Chairperson of the 2015 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Senior Officials’ Meeting (APEC SOM1), Laura del Rosario, invited the delegates to enjoy the amenities of the Clark Freeport Zone during their stay for the meetings.
"I also take this opportunity to once again welcome you to Clark," del Rosario said during the opening of the SOM1 in Fontana Convention Center here.
"Set against the backdrop of the Pinatubo Volcano—which famously erupted in 1991 and changed the color of your sunsets for a year—Clark remains to be a model of investment and business resilience."
Clark, she said, is proud to have transformed itself from a military base to an industry hub that is backed by foreign investors.
The SOM chair also said she hopes delegates get the chance to enjoy the local hospitality, including the cuisine offered by Pampanga, considered as the culinary capital of the Philippines.
"There is indeed more to Clark than it seems," she noted.
Clark used to be the largest foreign airbase of the United States, complete with its own international airport with daily flights linking it to major cities around Asia.
Clark Air Base was named after Harold M. Clark of the US Army Signal Corps in 1919. Clark, who was born in Minnesota, US and reared in Manila, was the first American to fly in Hawaii.
Clark Field remained an Army Air Base until May 1949, when its facilities were transferred to the US Air Force. Following the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991, the US Air Force formally transferred Clark to the Philippine government after a century-long presence in the area.
Inside Clark Philippines are golf courses, casinos, fine dining restaurants that resemble US suburban communities. Among the multi-national companies operating in Clark are Samsung and Texas Instruments. (PNA)

First APEC Senior officials meeting starts; tackling year 2015 agenda priorities

CLARK FREEPORT, Angeles City-Senior officials of 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) on Friday started their two-day formal meeting here that would focus on discussing various initiatives to expand the benefits of the region’s three billion people and enhance economic growth, trade and investments.
At the opening of the Senior Officials Meeting (SOM1), APEC 2015 SOM Chair Laura del Rosario said the meeting will lay down the groundwork for agenda priorities of APEC this year.
Del Rosario said these priorities include advancing the regional economic integration agenda, fostering participation of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in regional and global markets, investing in human capital development, and building sustainable and resilient communities.
She said these reflect both the outcomes of APEC 2014 in China and build on the Philippines’ APEC 2015 theme of “Building Inclusive Economies, Building a Better World.”
Starting Jan. 26, Del Rosario said the various technical working groups and committees that report to the APEC Senior Officials met to discuss initiatives, policies and capacity-building programs that advance APEC’s goals of trade liberalization, business facilitation and economic cooperation.
She said best practices were shared and commitments were renewed on economic issues related to SMEs and the global value chain, anti-corruption, customs procedures, disaster management and services, among others. (PNA)

Country’s hosting of APEC has long-term economic benefits, says official

CLARK FREEPORT ZONE, Angeles City-The country's hosting of this year's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit would mean a lot of economic benefits for the Philippines in the long term, the head of the APEC 2015 National Organizing Council said on Thursday.
In the past 10 to 15 years, the Philippines’ trade with APEC’s member economies has grown by 8 percent annually, Director General Marciano A. Paynor, Jr. told China Central Television during an interview here.
"An 8 percent growth is a very, very solid case why the Philippines must continue to be part of the APEC," Paynor said.
The total population of the APEC’s 21 member economies is more than 40 percent of the total global population, making the trade bloc a significant driver in regional growth.
He noted that as the country prepares to host this year’s summit, it has launched a number of infrastructure projects, although some of them are not APEC-related.
Overall, the projects are part of the government's plan, with or without the APEC, he said, noting that any construction work in any country is a form of pump-priming the economy.
The people, however, must be patient because construction work creates such inconveniences as traffic congestion, Paynor explained, adding that once construction is completed, the public could enjoy a better transport system, roads, and bridges like other economies within the APEC.
The Philippines is hosting the 2015 APEC Summit, showcasing both the public and private sectors’ long-term commitment to the event’s theme of inclusive growth.
The APEC Summit, one of the world’s most important gathering of key decision-makers from across the globe, will focus on inclusive growth.
This year’s APEC is the first gathering to be held in the Philippines in nearly two decades. The Philippines first hosted the APEC Summit in 1996 during the administration of then president Fidel V. Ramos. (PNA)


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