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Trudeau, Duterte to meet at APEC in Peru

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  • Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will be among the world leaders meeting in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders’ summit.
    The APEC meeting will be held in Peru.
    It will be the first APEC leaders’ meeting for Duterte, who won the presidential election in the Philippines in May 2016.
    One Philippine official earlier said Duterte, whose propensity for making outrageous declarations such as “separating” from the U.S. or cursing out U.S. President Barack Obama and the European Union, would have a bigger stage in the APEC to “showcase both his mystique and his agenda for the country”.
    “Many of the other economic leaders would want to understand the President’s, I think, ideology, mission, and even programs from his own words, free of any biases or any slant,” said DFA Senior Special Assistant Leo Herrera-Lim.
    This year’s APEC is the first for Duterte, who will have bilateral meetings with two to four leaders, including the prospect of a sit-down with President Vladimir Putin of Russia on the Philippine leader’s own request.
    It is also the last APEC for Obama, often the subject of ire by Duterte, who has repeatedly expressed anti-American sentiment and his desire to pivot to China and Russia, upending traditional power structures and geopolitical alliances in the South China Sea.
    The relationship between the U.S. and the Philippines has changed drastically since the last APEC, which happened to be hosted by Manila under the administration of then President Benigno Aquino III.
    Trudeau will pay official visits to Cuba and Argentina from November 15 to 18, and will travel to Peru from November 19 to 20 to participate in the 2016 APEC leaders’ meeting.
    Canada enjoys strong, long-standing relations with Cuba and Argentina. During the official visits, Trudeau will meet with Cuban President Raúl Castro, Argentine President Mauricio Macri, and a number of local business and cultural leaders.
    The trip will provide Canada with an opportunity to renew and strengthen its relationships with Cuba and Argentina, and collaborate more closely on sustainable economic growth, inclusive governance, security, climate change, and gender equality.
    At the APEC Leaders’ meeting in Peru, Trudeau will join other APEC leaders to focus on strengthening the middle class, creating economic growth, and facilitating freer trade and investment in the region.
    “Cuba and Argentina are two of our closest partners in the hemisphere. I look forward to working with President Castro and President Macri to stimulate more trade and investment with Canada, grow the middle class, and foster closer people-to-people ties for the benefit of all our citizens,” Trudeau said.
    He added that the Asia Pacific region is critical to Canada’s economic future and ”I look forward to promoting Canada as a partner of choice for trade and investment in the region while embracing the theme of quality and inclusive economic growth that Peru has put forward this year. Peru is a valued partner for Canada in both the hemisphere and the Asia-Pacific region, and I look forward to meeting host President Kuczynski.”
    The APEC forum was established in 1989 and has become the most important economic forum in the Asia Pacific region. Its primary purpose is to facilitate economic growth and prosperity in the region, with the vision of creating a seamless regional economy. APEC’s 21 members are home to 2.8 billion people who generate more than half of the world’s GDP, including more than 84 percent of Canada’s total merchandise trade.
    The leaders’ meeting will be held on November 20.
    Led by Leader Xi Jinping, China will deploy the largest delegation for the mega event.

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