President Duterte arrives in Cambodia for WEF on ASEAN 2017

Phnom Penh, Cambodia — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte arrived here on Wednesday, May 10 to participate at the World Economic Forum (WEF) for Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) 2017.

The Chief Executive’s plane touched down at the Phnom Penh International Airport at 5:49 p.m. (6:49 p.m. in Manila).

He was accompanied by Public Works Secretary Mark Villar, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.

Also part of the President’s official delegation are National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director General Ernesto Pernia, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence Go, and Senator Alan Peter Cayetano.

Upon arrival, the President was welcomed by H.E. Khieu Kanharith, Minister of Information, Minister in Attendance and H.E. Sieng Bunvuth, Deputy Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Philippine Ambassador to Cambodia Christopher Montero, Myca Magnolia Fischer, First Secretary and Consul General; Col. Pablo Lorenzo, outgoing Philippine Defense and Armed Forces Attache; and Col. Josel Zuniga, incoming Philippine Defense and Armed Forces Attache also welcomed President Duterte.

On Thursday afternoon, Duterte will attend the Opening Plenary: ASEAN at 50 years at The Ballroom, Sokha Hotel.

He will then proceed to the Informal Gathering of World Economic Leaders and to the Multilateral Meeting with the ASEAN Regional Strategy Group.

The Chief Executive will also attend the ASEAN Regional Business Council Special Session on DuterteNomics and ASEAN with business leaders.

The President will go to the Cultural Soiree to be hosted by the Royal Government of Cambodia.

President Duterte departed on Wednesday afternoon for his official visits to Cambodia and China and a working visit to Hong Kong aimed at enhancing cooperation and economic ties with those Asian neighbors.

In Phnom Penh, the President will attend the World Economic Forum on ASEAN where he will be joining Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc of Vietnam, and Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith of Laos.

“Together we will be able to highlight accomplishments and developments of the 30th ASEAN Summit in Manila,” the President said in his departure statement.

The forum will be an opportunity for them to engage the larger region in discussing the common vision for Southeast Asia and its people, the President said.
‘Duterte to advance Philippine development goals in China’
In Hong Kong, the President is expected to meet overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) as he underscored their contributions to national development.

After his stop in Hong Kong, the President will participate in the Belt and Road Program for International Cooperation in Beijing upon the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

In the forum, the President said they will explore opportunities for supporting infrastructure development, trade and economic cooperation, energy development, financial cooperation, eco-environment initiatives, and people-to-people exchanges.

“I will work to build greater mutual interest and confidence in the region by meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, and Mongolian Prime Minister,” he said.

In his meeting with Chinese officials, he said they will review political-security developments, economic, cultural, and people-to-people relations.

The recent exchanges between the Philippines and China and updates on economic cooperation since his State Visit to China in October 2016 will also be discussed, he said.

His meeting with the Mongolian Prime Minister will focus on a review of bilateral relations, particularly on enhancing economic cooperation and high-level exchanges, according to the President.

“I am eager to engage my counterparts to establish stronger ties of amity with other countries in the Asia Pacific. In my engagements, I shall observe and expect full respect for sovereign equality,” the President said.
New appointments
Also, the President said Wednesday in a media interview that he signed the appointment paper of Senator Alan Peter Cayetano as the new Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

President Duterte also announced that Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Eduardo Año is set to assume the post as the secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG). ###PND