Marcos leaves for Apec today; he needed test for COVID first | Inquirer News

Marcos leaves for Apec today; he needed test for COVID first

Ferdinand Marcos Jr. STORY: Marcos leaves for Apec today; he needed test for COVID first

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (File photo from his Facebook account)

MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is set to fly to Bangkok today (Wednesday, Nov. 16) to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit this week, his sixth official trip abroad since assuming office on June 30.

The president and his delegation are scheduled to leave Manila on Wednesday afternoon to attend the meeting in the Thai capital from Nov. 16 to Nov. 19.

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On the eve of his departure, Malacañang said Marcos underwent COVID-19 testing following reports that Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, whom he met at a summit last week, tested positive for the coronavirus.

“The President had himself tested as part of the health protocol for the Apec Summit in Bangkok, Thailand. He also instructed members of the official delegation to Cambodia to have themselves tested,” Undersecretary Cheloy Garafil, officer in charge of the Office of the Press Secretary, said in a statement on Tuesday.

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“The President extends his wishes to Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen for a speedy recovery,” she added.

Hun Sen hosted the 40th and 41st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summits and related meetings in Phnom Penh last Nov. 10 to 13, with Marcos and other leaders of the 10-member bloc and dialogue partners in attendance.

Bilateral talks

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) earlier said Marcos would have at least six bilateral meetings at the Apec meet.

In a briefing early this month, Garafil said Apec leaders will discuss ways to post-pandemic recovery and inclusive and sustainable growth.

The DFA, meanwhile, said Marcos will focus on food security, energy security, and climate change mitigation in his meeting with fellow leaders.

This year’s summit will be the first in-person meeting of the Apec leaders since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. Expected to attend are Chinese President Xi Jinping, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

A founding member of Apec, the Philippines hosted the summits for its 21 member economies in 1996 and 2015.

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Malacañang said Apec’s member economies are home to more than 2.9 billion people and make up over 60 percent of the global gross domestic product.

Hun Sen disclosed on Tuesday that he had tested positive for COVID-19 after hosting more than a dozen world leaders, including US President Joe Biden at the summits in Phnom Penh.

—WITH A REPORT FROM AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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TAGS: APEC summit, Asia Pacific Economic Conference, Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
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