Republic of the Philippines

50 Hobson Street, Thorndon, Wellington, New Zealand 6011

PHL Ambassador makes a presentation at the Victoria University of Wellington (VUW) English Language Training for Officials (ELTO)

As part of the Philippine Embassy’s priority goals of enhancing closer people-to-people ties especially in the academic sector and upon the invitation of the Victoria University of Wellington (VUW), Philippine Ambassador Virginia H. Benavidez made a presentation on “The Philippines’ Chairmanship and Hosting of APEC 2015” before government officials from Peru on 19 May 2015 at the Victoria University of Wellington Kelburn Campus, Wellington. The Peruvian officials are currently undergoing an English Language Training for Officials (ELTO) at the English Language Institute of the Victoria University of Wellington in preparation for Peru’s hosting of the APEC in 2016. The group is composed of 16 officials from various government agencies from Peru, which includes officials from the Ministry of Trade and Tourism, Ministry of Economy and Finance, Ministry of Energy and Mines, Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Population, Ministry of Production, Ministry of Education and National Police of Peru.

Ambassador Benavidez discussed the Philippines’ experiences in the preparation for the hosting of APEC 2015, institutional mechanisms used in organizing both administrative and logistical arrangements as well as the formulation of the substantive thrusts of the Philippines. She also stressed the importance of taking the opportunity to showcase the country during its hosting stint, the need to focus on core themes and priorities that would highlight the country’s development goals, ensure close coordination and collaboration with all agencies and adopt innovative ways to demonstrate concrete commitment to the protection and preservation of the environment. Under the Philippine’s Chairmanship, the APEC 2015 theme “Building Inclusive Economies, Building a Better World” emphasizes the paramount importance of the promotion and advancement of inclusive growth in the Asia-Pacific region where no one should be left behind. Notable APEC Meetings happening in the Philippines include the APEC Ministerial Meeting and APEC CEO Summit in 16 November 2015, APEC Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME) Summit in 17 November 2015, and the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM) and ABAC (APEC Business Advisory Council) Dialogue with Leaders in 18 November 2015.

In the Philippines’ hosting of APEC this year, New Zealand, Peru and other APEC economies continues to be among the key drivers for shared development and the promotion and advancement of inclusive growth in the Asia Pacific region. Within the various communities and locations around the Philippines, ministers, senior officials, private sector representatives, media and various stakeholders from the APEC economies continue to map out initiatives, policies and capacity building programs that advance APEC’s goals of trade liberalization, business facilitation and economic cooperation and to show how we are building inclusive economies and thus building a better world. The Leaders of the APEC economies are expected to attend the APEC Leaders Meeting in Manila in November where they will see for themselves an archipelago connected through a web of inclusiveness and encounter our greatest resource: The Filipino people who are kind, compassionate, smiling, welcoming and talented beyond measure.

During the open forum, Peruvian officials posed various questions, in particular about updates in APEC on issues pertaining to women, environment and education. Ambassador Benavidez shared the results of the APEC meetings so far concluded in various parts of the Philippines, addressing the specific areas the Peruvian officials are interested in and encouraging them to highlight the strengths of their people and sustained development priorities and programs and stunning sceneries of their country when they host APEC 2016.

The Peruvian delegation, represented by Ms. Maria Teresa Fortunic De La Sotta, expressed their appreciation to Ambassador Benavidez for the very comprehensive presentation. Ms. Susan Smith, from the VUW’s School of Linguistic and Applied Language Studies - English Language Institute, presented the Ambassador with a token gift in appreciation of her continued support to the ELTO Programme.

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