Finance Ministers’ Meeting
September 11, 2015
Mactan, Cebu, Philippines
Cesar V. Purisima
FMM Chair and Finance Secretary
Good morning, everyone. I trust that you all had a good night’s sleep and that you also had fun watching Philippine talent and enjoying Philippine cuisine last night.
We, in the Philippines, are really honored to host you once again in Cebu. As we know, 18 years ago, the Philippines was the host of APEC, and the Finance Ministers’ Meeting was also held in Cebu. As I mentioned yesterday at the retreat, Cebu is a historical city for the Philippines. It is the oldest city in the Philippines, and it is where the first circumnavigation of the world was completed by Magellan. In fact, I think, it is the first time that the possibility of trans-pacific trade was put to light.
The other thing that we would like to point out was that 18 years ago, we also had the private sector meeting parallel with the Finance Ministers and the heads of delegations of the APEC member economies. This time around we will also have our own private sector representatives across the hotel, on the other side, meeting. At lunch, we will have a chance to compare notes with them regarding the topics of the day. We look forward to you active participation the whole day.
This Finance Ministers’ process started last January. Our respective teams, our senior officials, our deputies have been quite busy putting together the work that hopefully will lead to our approval of the Cebu Action Plan. In the run up to today’s meeting, the preparation has been done across the Philippines. We started in Clark, in Luzon. We had a meeting in Tagaytay, also in Luzon. Then, Bacolod, which is in the Visayas, in the middle of the Philippines. Then, in Bagac, in Luzon also. Then, Iloilo, and now we’re back in the Visayas, in Cebu in an effort to showcase what the Philippines has to offer.
As a review of these efforts and to also get us started with this meeting, may I now invite everyone to please pay attention to this audio-visual presentation: