In celebration with the Philippine Foreign Relations Week, International Studies students organized a forum about Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) last September 13.
The forum, entitled APEC 2015: Beyond the Frontiers of Southeast Asia, was held to enlighten the audience about the role of APEC and its member economies.
Hon. Eko Hartono, Consul General of Indonesia, gave a glimpse of APEC’s mission and how it has developed since its establishment in 1989.
“APEC’s role in regional areas is to create an atmosphere for expanding regional trade,” guest speaker Hartono said.
“It simplifies and accelerates the implementation costs of the economic and the business world,” he added.
In his discussion, the Indonesian Consulate also highlighted APEC’s priorities, which included attaining the Bogor Goals, or goals that focus on trading investment and standardization.
“Money is money. Business is business, even if there are diplomatic disputes,” Hartono responded when asked how countries can have free trade despite having territorial disputes.
“For instance, USA and Venezuela still have oil relations despite their disputes,” he shared.
According to Hartono, countries with disputes still maintain good social relations despite having their political and diplomatic relations jeopardized.
“The business should not stop,” he emphasized.
Finally, when asked about future APEC meeting locations, Hartono said they are considering Davao City.
“I believe that Davao City can host because life is here,” he added with a smile.
The forum also invited other guests, such as Consul General Abdullah Zawawi Tahir of Malaysia and three IS students from Indonesia.
Aside from Ateneans, the forum organizers also welcomed second year to third year IS students from Mindanao Kokusai Daigaku (Mindanao International College).