MANILA, June 8 (Mabuhay) — President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. will be attending the planned face-to-face Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Thailand from November 18 to 19, his camp announced Wednesday.

“Incoming President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos on Tuesday (June 7) has accepted an invitation to attend the planned face-to-face Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Thailand this coming November 18-19, 2022,” Marcos’ camp said in a press statement.

This came after the Thai government, chair of this year’s APEC, invited Marcos to participate in the summit that will be held in November this year.

Thai Chargé d’ Affaires Thawat Sumitmor to the APEC Summit relayed Thailand’s invitation when the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) ambassadors paid a courtesy call on Marcos on Monday.

Thailand’s Chargé d’ Affaires joined the ambassadors of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Singapore, and Vietnam in paying a visit to Marcos at the presumptive president’s campaign headquarters in Mandaluyong City.

“Marcos was personally invited by Thai Chargé d’ Affaires Thawat Sumitmor to the APEC Summit, in his capacity as representative of Thailand which is the current APEC Chair,” the Marcos camp said.

In 2019, the in-person APEC summit was canceled due to protests in Chile, the host country.

The APEC meetings in 2020 and 2021 were held virtually because of the prevailing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

Thailand will host the APEC 2022 summit which will focus on the importance of facilitating the resumption of safe and convenient cross-border travel to hasten the region’s speedy and robust economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

This year’s event will focus on “restoring connectivity by resuming safe and seamless cross-border travel, reinvigorating tourism and the services sector, facilitating business mobility as well as increasing investment in health security,” according to the APEC’s official website.

The theme for APEC 2022 is “Open. Connect. Balance.”

Thailand, this year’s chair of APEC, aims to chart a post-Covid-19 future for the Asia-Pacific region by promoting “long-term growth that is resilient, inclusive, balanced and sustainable.”

The primary purpose of the APEC Summit is to promote sustainable economic growth, trade and investment, and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.

Asean’s role in economic recovery

Meantime, Marcos acknowledged Asean’s important role in reviving the region’s quick economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

During his recent meeting with the regional bloc’s heads of missions, Marcos highlighted Asean’s worth as a “very important regional organization,” his camp said.

“While he has already met some of the ambassadors in the past, he was glad to meet them as a group, noting how Asean has become a very important regional organization,” the Marcos camp said. “He is also confident that Asean will play a vital role in the region’s quick economic recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic.” (MNS)

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