President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to Attend the 14th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders' Meeting in Vietnam and Meet with Business Leaders in Singapore

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THE Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) started as an informal ministerial-level dialogue group with 12 members in a meeting held in Canberra, Australia, in 1989. Four years later, the economic leaders of the APEC member countries met in Blake Island, United States, and outlined APEC's vision of "stability, security and prosperity for our peoples." In 1994, the APEC set the goals of the network of economies in the region through the Bogor Declaration. The declaration aims to establish for the APEC member economies free and open trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific by 2010 for the developed economies and 2020 for the developing economies.

Since then the leaders of the APEC member economies have met annually, with the venues shifting from developed to developing member economies to further flesh out the Bogor goals and discuss the progress of actions taken by each member economy. The APEC Leaders' Meetings have been held in Osaka, Japan; Manila, Philippines; Vancouver, Canada; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Auckland, New Zealand; Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam; Shanghai, People's Republic of China; Los Cabos, Mexico; Bangkok, Thailand; Santiago, Chile; and Busan, Korea. In the last APEC Leaders' Meeting, the organization adopted the Busan Roadmap and completed the Mid-Term Stocktake which found that APEC was well on its way to meeting the Bogor Goals and the APEC Privacy Framework.

For the 14th APEC Leaders' Meeting to be held in Hanoi, Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the leaders of the member economies, including President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, will examine anew the progress of each economy and the organization in meeting the three pillars of APEC, namely, Trade and Investment Liberalization, Business Facilitation, and Economic and Technical Cooperation. Prior to her participation in the Leaders' Summit on November 19, 2006, President Arroyo, who departs today with her delegation will meet with the Filipino community in Hanoi, have multilateral meetings with Association of Southeast Asian heads of government and ASEAN's partners, and engage in bilateral meetings with the chief executives of the United States, Canada, Chile, and Russia. …