PH to host WEF East Asia Summit in 2014

By Danny Buenafe, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau Chief

Posted at Jan 26 2013 05:39 PM | Updated as of Jan 27 2013 02:08 AM

DAVOS – President Benigno Aquino III has confirmed that Philippines will host the East Asia Summit for the World Economic Forum (WEF) in 2014.

Aquino said this would happen in a much warmer climate, possibly in July, noting the icy condition in Davos.

He could not comment, however, if the Philippines can participate in next year’s WEF, held annually at the end of January in Davos.

The President believes the Manila summit in 2014 would be beneficial to us as Europe’s political and economic leaders think we are now in the radar after 5 years.

The President also announced that a global economic team will visit Manila next month to look for business opportunities in Manila, particularly in the IT and education sectors.

This was agreed upon after a brief roundtable discussion with global financial executives in Davos

He joked that even Chinese delegates will be part of the global team, apart from the participants from Belgium, Tanzania and Nigeria assigned to explore the business potential of the Philippines.

When asked by a top local businessman about the government’s move to elevate the Panatag Shoal dispute to the United Nations, which could allegedly complicate gas exploration, the President disregarded such concern and said it justified its move after thorough consultations with both houses of Congress and former Presidents Fidel Ramos and Joseph Estrada

He said that while the Philippines is trying to de-escalate the situation, the Chinese would not reciprocate and, citing intelligence reports, said 2 Chinese vessels are encroaching once more into the waters of Bajo de Masinloc, which is part of the country’s economic zone.

The President said he will protect the country’s sovereignty at all means but through a peaceful manner governed by the arbitration committee of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS).