Boracay, The Philippines, May 13, 2015—APEC delegates have started arriving in the island paradise of Boracay for the two-week Second APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting and Related Meetings, which began last May 10.
Over fifteen technical working group-level meetings are underway to discuss trade and investment liberalization, business facilitation, and economic cooperation. This week’s highlights include: the 2015 APEC Study Centers Consortium (ASCC) Conference from May 12 to 13, chaired by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies, which includes presentations of academic papers on the four APEC 2015 Priorities under the overall inclusive growth theme; and the 37th Human Resource Development Working Group (HRDWG) meeting from May 14 to 18, which covers labor and social protection, education, and capacity-building.
The HRDWG is chaired by Dr. Sergey Ivanets, President of the Far Eastern Federal University in Vladivostok, Russia. The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) leads the Philippine delegation composed of members from various agencies including the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Department of Eduction (DepEd), and Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
These technical meetings will culminate in the Senior Officials’ Meeting proper on May 20 to 21 in which Senior Officials will review and build on working groups’ initiatives and recommendations. Senior Officials will thereafter report to the APEC Trade Ministers at the MRT meeting on May 23 to 24.
Instead of the traditional red carpet, the APEC 2015 National Organizing Committee and the Local Government of Malay, Aklan have laid down the “white sand welcome” to the delegates. Sailboats, locally known as paraws, are all decked with APEC colors as they carry delegates from Caticlan to the White Beach. The beat of local percussionists playing in the background completes the warm island continue to welcome APEC delegates over the next two weeks.