Duterte to meet Filipino community in Hong Kong

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President Rodrigo Duterte

MANILA: President Rodrigo Duterte will make a two-country swing in Cambodia and China, including Hong Kong Special Administrative Region from May 10-15.

Foreign Affairs spokesman Robespierre Bolivar said Duterte will attend a meeting of the World Economic Forum in Cambodia, address the Filipino community in Hong Kong, and participate in the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in China.

“As chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the President is expected to share his views on the region’s achievements and challenges, and to deliver a message to the youth of Asean,” he said.

“The organizers designated the President as an honored guest of the WEF alongside the Prime Minister of Vietnam who is currently the chair of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation,” he added.

The WEF on Asean, which Cambodia is hosting for the first time with the theme “Youth, Technology, and Growth: Securing ASEAN’s Digital and Demographic Dividends,” is expected to draw “more than 700 leaders from business, government, civil society, and the media,” Bolivar said.

From Cambodia, Duterte will fly to Hong Kong, where he will meet with members of the Filipino community during his stay from May 11-13.

“As of March 2017, there were around 210,000 Filipinos in Hong Kong. Many of whom work in the hotel and restaurant industry or in the households of Hong Kong residents,” Bolivar said.

“The Filipino community in Hong Kong has been actively partnering with our Consulate General in ensuring the rights and welfare of our kababayans in Hong Kong are protected and promoted and the community has also been instrumental in promoting enhanced trade relations between the Philippines and Hong Kong and in promoting our country’s investment opportunities and tourist destinations,” he added.

On May 13, the President will head to Beijingto attend the Belt and Road Forum where he will “join 27 other heads of state and government, as well as heads of three international organizations.”

“The topics they are expected to discuss include: infrastructure connectivity; economic and trade cooperation; industrial investment; energy and resources; financial support; people-to-people exchanges; ecological and environmental protection; and marine cooperation,” Bolivar said.

Duterte last made a state visit to China in October which was bannered as a sign of the “full recovery” of ties between Manila and Beijing.

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