Tuesday, 3 June 2014

PIA News Dispatch - Friday, May 23, 2014

Hosting World Economic Forum 'vote of confidence' for Philippines - Yudhoyono

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono hailed on Thursday the selection of the Philippines as this year’s host for the World Economic Forum on East Asia (WEF-EA), referring to it as “a solid vote of confidence” for its remarkable economic achievements in recent years.

In his speech at the WEF-EA’s plenary session held at the Shangri-La hotel in Makati, Yudhoyono cited the good economic performance of the Philippines and Indonesia, which had Britain-based newspaper The Economist naming both countries as Asia’s "economic stars" last year.

Evidently, Yudhoyono shared President Benigno S. Aquino III’s agenda of inclusive growth with his demand for social and economic mobility to address the issue of inequity that has been challenging Asia’s complete economic development.

“In my view, at the heart of the inequity is the question of social and economic mobility. I suppose we have to be realistic that there will always be people who are more well-off than others. But this becomes particularly problematic if mobility applies only for the few. The key challenge in addressing inequity is how to ensure that those at the bottom and middle also enjoy the same, if not more, socioeconomic mobility as those at the top; hence, mobility for all. And in this way, it doesn’t matter how many billionaires and millionaires emerge, so long as those at the economic bottom also get a ladder of a better life opportunity and progress, ” Yudhoyono said.

Yudhoyono said this particular thrust can be achieved through education—the “best weapon” against poverty—financial inclusion, and entrepreneurship, especially in the micro, small, and medium enterprises.

He noted, however, that “economic growth and equitable progress are not necessarily the same thing;" hence, there is a need for governments and institutions to come up with “true pro-poor” programs, which, he said, “have always been at the heart of Indonesia’s economic transformation.”

“Whatever the global ups and downs, I do believe that the intense pro-poor programs and social safety nets that they have instilled in the last decade will help make the Indonesian economy much more resilient in the face of uncertainty, and that Allah will lift us not just towards equality for all, not just towards equal opportunity for all, but towards mobility for all,” Yudhoyono said.

Apart from his participation at this year’s WEF-EA (his last as Indonesia’s President), Yudhoyono is also in the country for a state visit on President Aquino’s invitation. The two leaders are expected to discuss matters of mutual concern, including political, defense and border, maritime, economic, and socio-cultural cooperation at the Palace on Friday (May 23). PND (hdc)

President Aquino welcomes Indonesian President at PICC

President Benigno S. Aquino III welcomed Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his wife Madame Ani Bambang Yudhoyono at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) on Thursday.

The President and the Indonesian leader both delivered their respective speeches at the opening of the 23rd World Economic Forum on East Asian at the Shangri-La Hotel in Makati City.

Prior to meeting President Yudhoyono, the President received World Economic Forum founder and executive chairman Professor Klaus Schwab in a courtesy call also at the PICC.

President Aquino also had a photo opportunity with Professor Schwab, Philippine officials, and ministers attending the 23rd WEF summit in Manila.

The President hosted dinner at the PICC's Reception Hall for the Indonesian President and delegates of the WEF.

The World Economic Forum is an international institution committed to improving the state of the world through public-private cooperation in the spirit of global citizenship.

It engages with business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. Incorporated as a not-for-profit foundation in 1971, WEF is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

The World Economic Forum is an independent, impartial group that is not tied to any interests, cooperating closely with all leading international organizations. PND (as)

Chairman Klaus Schwab of World Economic Forum encourages claimants of West Philippine sea to hold dialogue

World Economic Forum founder and executive chairman Professor Klaus Schwab appealed to the claimants in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) to resolve their conflicting claims in a peaceful manner through dialogue.

Reacting to the message delivered by Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, Schwab said the World Economic Forum (WEF) is a neutral organization and doesn't take a stand on the South China Sea issue.

"But I appeal, on behalf of the World Economic Forum, to all parties to resort to discussions and dialogue to resolve the situation, which has potential to create a situation we all do not want to have, if you look at our future economically and politically," he said.
"We are living in a global world, we need global partnerships, we need global peace."

In his message Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung told the delegates and organizers of the World Economic Forum on East Asia about China's aggressive posturing in the West Philippine Sea.

China, he said started operating an oil rig in waters claimed by Vietnam and has deployed more than 130 ships including military vessels and planes to guard its oil drilling operations.

The location is 40 nautical miles deep into the Vietnamese exclusive economic zone prescribed by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, he said.

This gravely violates the international law and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea to which China is also a signatory, the Vietnamese leader said.

President Benigno S. Aquino III joined fellow leaders of the ASEAN attending the opening of the 23rd WEF in Makati City on Thursday.

In his message, the President mentioned the recent economic successes that the Philippines has achieved. PND (as)

Indonesian President leads wreath-laying rites at Rizal Monument in Manila

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono paid his respects to the country’s national hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal, on Friday, the second day of his state visit to the Philippines.

He was welcomed at the Rizal Monument by Manila Vice Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso and Philippine Navy Chief Vice Admiral Jesus Millan.

The Indonesian President was accompanied by his wife, First Lady Ani Bambang Yudhoyono, and other members of his official delegation.

Following the wreath-laying ceremony, Vice Mayor Domagoso presented President Yudhoyono the symbolic key to the City of Manila.

Afterwards, the visiting head of state proceeded to Malacanang for the bilateral meeting with President Benigno S. Aquino III.

He is set to leave Manila at 10 a.m. on Saturday. PND (ag)

President Aquino congratulates Indonesia for being next World Economic Forum host

President Benigno S. Aquino III on Friday congratulated Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Indonesia’s hosting of the 24th World Economic Forum on East Asia (WEF-EA) next year.

President Aquino also extended his congratulations to President Yudhoyono for the Global Statesmanship Award to be conferred on him by the WEF on Friday in recognition of his leadership.

“This award is yet another affirmation of the visionary leadership of His Excellency—both as President of his people and as a voice of reason to all of us in Southeast Asia,” President Aquino said during the joint press conference with the Indonesian head of state.

President Yudhoyono is in Manila for a state visit, at the invitation of President Aquino. He is also attending the WEF-EA, where he will be conferred the Global Statesmanship Award, and witness the official turnover to Indonesia of the hosting of the 24th WEF-EA in 2015.

President Aquino said President Yudhoyono’s visit is a reaffirmation of the strong bond between the Philippines and Indonesia.
“It adds to the reservoir of goodwill between Filipinos and the people of Indonesia,” he said.

The two leaders held a bilateral meeting to discuss matters of mutual concern, including political, defense and border, maritime, economic, and socio-cultural cooperations.

During their joint press conference, President Aquino also thanked Indonesia for the overwhelming humanitarian assistance it extended in the aftermath of Typhoon "Yolanda" (Haiyan).

The President expressed his gratitude to President Yudhoyono for his personal efforts in raising awareness on the humanitarian concerns brought about by the super typhoon.

“And as we build back our nation for the better, the Filipino people will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our Indonesian brothers and sisters as we continue to build an ASEAN community where no one is left behind,” he said. PND (co)

President Aquino pitches Philippine tourism to WEF delegates, organizers

President Benigno S. Aquino III invited delegates attending the World Economic Forum on East Asia (WEF-EA) to visit the country's tourist spots and enjoy the Filipino hospitality.

"Tonight’s dinner gives us a chance to set aside our focus on the potential of the future to enjoy the present," the President told the delegates during the welcome dinner soirĂ©e held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) on Thursday.

"Some of you here are likely already good friends, while others are still getting to know each other," he said, enjoining everyone to have a good time and prove to himself or herself that it is indeed more fun in the Philippines.

He said he was informed that WEF founder and executive chairman, Professor Klaus Schwab, spent a few days in one of the country’s most famous tourist destinations, the island resort of Amanpulo in Palawan.

"I am glad that you found another reason to return to the country—and that, as it appears, you have not missed out on all the fun that our country has to offer," the President told Professor Schwab.

"Of course, this includes the warm and friendly nature of the Filipinos you have met recently."

He encouraged Schwab to extend his stay, or return to the Philippines many more times in the future, so that he can explore the rest of the cultural and historical attractions, beaches, and even diving sites in the Philippines.

"This invitation goes out to everyone here as well, and tonight’s gathering will be a good start in that endeavor," he said.

President Aquino, together with other ASEAN leaders, addressed the delegates at the opening of the 23rd WEF-EA at the Shangri-la Hotel in Makati City on Thursday afternoon.

In his message, the President highlighted the country's economic successes as a result of the current reforms being initiated by his administration. PND (as)

Philippines, Indonesia sign agreements on sea boundaries, education, counter-terrorism

The Philippines and Indonesia on Friday signed agreements on sea boundaries, education and measures to combat terrorism.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono arrived in Manila on Thursday for a two-day state visit and to attend the 23rd World Economic Forum on East Asia (WEF-EA).

The agreement on the delimitation of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) boundary was signed by Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and his Indonesian counterpart, Dr. R.M. Marty M. Natalegawa.

In a statement, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr said the agreement was the result of a rules-based negotiation between the Philippines and Indonesia to achieve an equitable delimitation of their overlapping EEZ in the Mindanao Sea, Celebes Sea and the Philippine Sea.

The memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the cooperation on higher education between the Philippine Commission on Higher Education and the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture was inked by Secretary del Rosario and Indonesian Education and Culture Minister, Professor Dr. Mohammad Nuh.

The signing of this MOU aims to promote cooperation, higher education, research and training for the mutual benefit of the Philippines and Indonesia, Coloma said.

The MOU on combating international terrorism between the Philippines’ Anti-Terrorism Council and Indonesia’s National Counter-Terrorism Agency was signed by National Security Adviser Cesar Garcia, Jr. and Indonesia's head of the National Counter-Terrorism Agency Ansyaad Mbay.

The agreement aims to enhance the counter-terrorism cooperation between the two countries’ security, defense, intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

President Benigno S. Aquino III and President Yudhoyono witnessed the signing of the three agreements. PND (as)

President Aquino reports fruitful discussion with Indonesian counterpart

President Benigno S. Aquino III and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono have agreed to strengthen the two countries’ bilateral relations, particularly on politics, economy, and people-to-people connectivity.

“President Yudhoyono and I had a productive set of discussions today, as we shared thoughts on how we can deepen the areas of cooperation between our two nations, and strengthen the mechanisms that will not only redound to the advancement of Indonesia and the Philippines, but will also contribute to the growth of the ASEAN region,” President Aquino said during his joint press conference with President Yudhoyono in Malacanang on Friday.

He said he and the Indonesian head of state discussed the opportunities brought about by the meeting of the Philippines-Indonesia Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation, which took place last February in Jakarta.

The meeting led to the signing of the Philippines-Indonesia Plan of Action 2014-2016, which provides for a wide range of economic, social, and cultural exchanges between the two countries.

The two leaders also exchanged views on enhancing economic cooperation, having in mind the realization of the ASEAN Economic Integration.

"We took note of Indonesia’s being the Philippines’ 11th largest trading partner in 2013, with total trade between us amounting to $3.51 billion," the President said.

"We both share the belief that much more can be done to maximize the prospects of equitable growth. In this regard, we took note of the commitment in the Plan of Action to double bilateral trade by 2016."

Climate change is another common concern, not only for Indonesia and the Philippines, but also for the entire ASEAN region, he said, explaining that the two countries’ vulnerability to this menace cannot be addressed without the cooperation of other countries.

What is needed is an enhanced cooperation and a firm resolve to tread the path to sustainable development for all the people of the Philippines and Indonesia, he noted.

President Aquino further said that the Philippines and Indonesia are strengthening their bilateral cooperation through enhanced collaboration on people-to-people connectivity, especially in their shared maritime borders.

He said they discussed ways to develop air and sea linkages between the two countries, in an effort to spur trade, accelerate the development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and strengthen community empowerment in the Southern Philippines and in the Sulawesi region.

Another issue is the importance of pursuing continuing cooperative activities between Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines within the BIMP-EAGA framework, he said.

"This will ultimately redound to more doors of opportunity opening for all our peoples, enabling them to contribute further to the advancement of our nations and our region," he added.

The Philippine leader said the unwavering solidarity of Indonesia with the Philippines, and vice versa, only reaffirms the strong ties that the two countries have as brothers in ASEAN and as responsible members of the international community.

Meanwhile, President Yudhoyono called the newly signed agreement on the delimitation of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) boundary a “new milestone”.

“With the agreement on the delimitation of maritime boundaries, we may work even closer,” he said during the joint press conference.

“This indeed is a model, a good example that any border dispute, including on maritime border, can be resolved peacefully,” he said, emphasizing that the use of military might will only interfere with and endanger the region’s peace and stability.

The Indonesian leader also extended his congratulations to the Philippines for its economic accomplishments.

“You have become one of the countries that possess great economic growth, high economic growth; and, indeed, this will change the path of history for the Philippines to become greater and stronger in the future,” said President Yudhoyono.

Referring to the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, he congratulated the Philippines “for the peace agreement that you have just achieved” in Mindanao.

“That indeed is a milestone in history which shows that any conflict can be resolved peacefully,” he said.

President Yudhoyono, accompanied by his wife, First Lady Ani Bambang Yudhoyono, arrived in Malacanang at 9 a.m. They were received by President Aquino and his eldest sister Maria Elena “Ballsy” Aquino-Cruz.

A 21-gun salute was accorded to the visiting leader. President Aquino then ushered President Yudhoyono to the Reception Hall for the traditional signing of the guest book.

Both leaders then proceeded to the Music Room for the courtesy call and to the Aguinaldo State Dining Room for the expanded bilateral meeting that lasted about an hour.

President Yudhoyono will return to Malacanang on Friday evening to attend a dinner hosted by President Aquino in his honor.

President Aquino will also confer on his Indonesian counterpart the Order of Sikatuna with the Rank of Raja (Grand Collar), an order conferred on a former or incumbent head of state. PND (as/ag/jb)