MANILA - A presidential aide said Wednesday he is still convincing President Rodrigo Duterte to hold the meeting of Southeast Asian nations with its partners, including top world leaders like US President Donald Trump, in Metro Manila instead of Clark, Pampanga.
"The ASEAN Business and Investment Summit in November is tricky. APEC will happen from Nov 11-12, and they will travel here [in Manila] for 1 day. Then we will have ASEAN+10 [dialogue partners] in Clark," ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ABAC) Chairman and Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion said.
The APEC Summit 2017 will be held November 11-12 in Da Nang, Vietnam. It will be followed by the 31st ASEAN Summit and Related Meetings in Clark Field, Pampanga set on November 10-14.
"Despite efforts to move to Manila -- it's still pretty challenging, they have 24 villas there [in Clark], they say it's going to be ready. The President doesn't want to cause traffic in Metro Manila too," he added.
Concepcion said if the ASEAN+10 Summit is held in Clark, the private sector will not be accommodated, except for a limited engagement with the leaders. All other events will still be based in Manila, he said.
He said they are now coordinating with various embassies, seeking 3-4 world leaders who will be able to speak at the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit event in Manila, which is "the main event for every country that hosts this event."
"I hope they do it here in Manila because we have the best network between the airport and Mall of Asia area. It's just so quick to get to the venue; [in the] last leaders' event, it was seamless, leaders were walking from their hotels to the conference venue," he said.