Duterte to attend second belt and road forum in Beijing

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DAVAO CITY (April 23) — President Rodrigo Duterte is set to leave for Beijing, China, as one of the speakers for the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation on April 25 to 27. 

In a pre-departure breifing, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Assistant Secretary for Asian and Pacific Affairs Meynardo Montealegre said President Duterte would be one of the lead speakers at the Leaders’ Roundtable on April 27. 

Chinese President Xi Jinping invited to the forum President Duterte along with 39 world leaders and heads of international organizations. 

On April 25, there will be a parallel thematic subforums and a CEO conference. 

The DFA official said invited ministers and officials from different companies would participate in the business event.

On April 26, the opening session will be held as well as the high-level meeting exclusive to leaders who are invited to the forum.

Assistant Secretary Montealegre underscored that the President’s participation would be a continuation of the proposals that he made during the first forum in 2017. 

“In the first Belt and Road forum, (the President) spoke about concrete proposals for generating economic growth and tackling government economic challenges and the Philippines’ efforts in infrastructure through Build, Build, Build program,” he said. 

“So he said that the Philippines’ initiative can complement regional and international connectivity mechanisms such as the BRI and the ASEAN Master Plan of Connectivity,” he added. 

President Duterte is also expected to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping. 

The two leaders are expected to chart the course of further development of bilateral relations in various areas like defense, security, and economics, as well as regional and international issues of mutual importance.

The President and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang are also expected to discuss in a bilateral meeting a more detailed cooperation in various areas including infrastructure, trade and investment, people-to-people relations, and regional cooperation.

The DFA official said some possible deals to be signed are in the areas of education, anti-corruption, official development assistance, and drug rehabilitation. 

He however noted that these are in the final stages of consultations.

The One Belt, One Road or Belt and Road Initiative has been a major foreign policy of Chinese President Xi Jinping since it was announced in 2013.

The initiative envisions global connectivity through infrastructure, facilitation of free trade, financial integration, and people-to-people exchanges.

The main outcome document is a joint communiqué of the Leaders’ Roundtable of the Second Belt and Road Forum. –NewsLine.ph

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