Republic of the Philippines

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PHL Ambassador and PHL Honorary Consul General attend the New Zealand International Business Forum APEC Advisory Council breakfast with Prime Minister John Key

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As the Philippines is chairing this year’s APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) Leaders’ and CEO Summit, Ambassador Virginia H. Benavidez and Honorary Consul General Paulo R. Garcia attended the Breakfast with the Prime Minister, the Rt. Honourable John Key on 5 March 2015 at the Heritage Hotel in Auckland. It was organized by the NZ International Business Forum (NZIBF) APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) which bring together leading businessmen from various sectors in New Zealand for the expansion of regional and international business opportunities, engagement in the global economy and strengthening of the country’s competitiveness positon in the regional and world markets.

Prime Minister John Key gave a comprehensive overview on the importance of New Zealand’s continuing and strategic engagement with countries in the Asia Pacific region given the tremendous positive changes, high economic growth, massive consumer base, higher expectations of young, ambitious and educated population, among others. He highlighted the fact that ABAC is an economic platform where there is synergy between political leaders and businessmen from the APEC economies. He pointed out that New Zealand’s heightened presence in APEC and other regional and international bodies would promote greater dialogue and better relationships and contribute to the building up of the country’s competitive advantage. Ambassador Benavidez and Honorary Consul General Garcia interacted with Prime Minister Key and said that the Philippines looks forward to receiving him and the leaders of the 21 member economies of APEC in November this year together with their ministers, senior officials, top businessmen, industry experts and other stake holders.

NZIBF’s Executive Director Mr. Stephen Jacobi who also acts as Alternate Chair and Lead Staffer of ABAC, the other members of New Zealand’s ABAC Team and NZIBF Board, officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, private sector representatives and guests from the Consular Corps and other sectors and stakeholders in Auckland contributed to a meaningful and productive session with Prime Minister Key on the outlook for business in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Philippines’ hosting of this year’s APEC Meeting carries the theme “Building Inclusive Economies, Building a Better World” that will focus on investing in human capital development, fostering small and medium enterprises’ participation in regional and global markets, building sustainable and resilient communities and enhancing the Regional Economic Integration Agenda including by way of greater connectivity through trade in services.

Ambassador Benavidez and Consul General Garcia thanked Mr. Jacobi and NZIBF for the valuable opportunity to be part of the forum with the Prime Minister, to meet and network with the leading lights in the business sector in New Zealand and to highlight the Philippines’ chairmanship of APEC 2015 with ABAC continuing to play a crucial role in moving forward the APEC agenda and priorities.

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