BBM President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., with Speaker Martin G. Romualdez (left), chats with members of the Philippine media after the press briefing Saturday afternoon at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand. Photo by VER NOVENO

Romualdez: PBBM shines at APEC

November 19, 2022 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 453 views

As savvy int’l relations leader promoting PH

SPEAKER Martin G. Romualdez on Saturday said President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. shone at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation 2022 (APEC) Summit in Bangkok, Thailand as a savvy international relations leader promoting the Philippines.

Romualdez added that President Marcos successfully pitched the Philippines as a perfect investment hub at the APEC Summit.

He said President Marcos was not only able to effectively articulate the Philippine position on pressing global issues, but he also established warm relations with fellow heads of state, particularly during the bilateral meetings held on the sidelines of the APEC meeting.

“The points the President has raised during the various APEC sessions resonated with other leaders of member economies and attuned with the common objective to revitalize the Asia-Pacific region as the main engine of global economic recovery and growth,” Romualdez noted.

Romualdez cited the statement of Department of Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Eric Tamayo, who said in the press briefing on Friday that most of the statements from the APEC leaders were “actually aligned and parallel” with the pronouncements of President Marcos.

Earlier, Romualdez bared that former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, now a senior Deputy Speaker and Pampanga congresswoman, is satisfied with President Marcos’ performance in his initial outing at the APEC Summit held in Thailand.

“You could see GMA there literally cheering him on and we would see how delighted she was with his performance and the crowd itself was applauding our President for his very, very clear-cut answers, and very incisive,” Romualdez said.

The Speaker was referring to the panel discussion at the APEC CEO Summit where World Economic Forum founder Prof. Klaus Schwab and Global Chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited Robert Moritz were seen nodding in agreement most of the time with the insights and points raised by President Marcos.

In his participation during the APEC Economic Leaders Retreat Session, President Marcos raised the urgent need for cooperation in addressing the pressing issues of food insecurity, strengthening the global health system to ensure resilience against emerging diseases, and stronger action on climate change.

Romualdez also noted that in President Marcos’ bilateral meetings with the leaders of China, Saudi Arabia and France, as well as in the interactions during the APEC Summit, the President established rapport with fellow heads of economies in the region.

“In his first ever face-to-face meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, President Marcos deftly handled the situation by focusing on common interests of the two countries, which set a cordial atmosphere that lead to an agreement to further deepen bilateral relations,” Romualdez noted.

Among the areas of cooperation the two leaders discussed were agriculture, trade, infrastructure, energy and people-to-people ties.

In his meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, President Marcos said their discussion focused on the cooperation between the two countries in the areas of agriculture and defense as well as possible partnership in the field of nuclear energy.

President Marcos also secured the best gift for many of the country’s overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) this Christmas with the welcome announcement of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during their bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the APEC Summit.

The Saudi Crown Prince, who is also the Prime Minister, announced that his government will shoulder the unpaid salaries of around 10,000 OFWs who worked for Saudi construction companies that declared bankruptcy in 2015 and 2016.

Aside from the scheduled bilateral meeting, President Marcos and Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phu had a pull-aside meeting where the Chief Executive accepted in principle the invitation for a visit to Vietnam.

President Marcos said he also extended an invitation to every leader of the economy he met during the APEC Summit to visit the Philippines.

“Considering these successful diplomatic initiatives and investment pledge the President secured from Thai business, we can definitely say that his participation in the APEC Summit is a resounding success,” Romualdez said.

Romualdez noted that the conglomerate CP Group — Thailand’s largest private firm with a $2 billion investment in the Philippines — has pledged to make additional investments in the country in aquaculture, rice and swine production.

During a dinner meeting with President Marcos on Wednesday, CP Group officials expressed interest in collaborating with the Philippines in swine, rice, corn and aquaculture as well as the development of the value chain of those industries to link them to local consumers.