Canada, New Zealand PMs arrive in Clark
By: Kris Crismundo and Zorayda Tecson
The Prime Ministers of Canada and New Zealand arrived at the Clark International Airport past 1 p.m. to attend the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Summits in Manila.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is back in the Philippines after his last visit in the country during his first Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in November 2015.
The Canadian Prime Minister’s main event here is the ASEAN-Canada 40th Commemorative Summit slated Tuesday, which will celebrate dialogue relations between Canada and ASEAN that started in February 1977.
As one of ASEAN’s dialogue partners, Trudeau will be attending the Special Gala Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of ASEAN on Sunday evening and the plenary opening of the 31st ASEAN Summit on Monday.
The official website of the Prime Minister also stated that Trudeau will meet a Filipino-Canadian innovator of e-jeepney vehicles and will participate in a panel discussion in Gender-Responsive Economic Actions for the Transformation of Women (GREAT Women) Project, both events slated in Makati City on Monday.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, on the other hand, also arrived in the Philippines for her first participation in the 31st ASEAN Summit and Related Summits.
Fresh from her attendance in the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Meeting in Da Nang, Vietnam, Ardern arrived at the Clark International Airport to attend the East Asia Summit on November 12-14.
The East Asia Summit includes all 10 ASEAN members (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Viet Nam) and Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Russia and the USA.
The young female Prime Minister will meet with key counterparts in the region and attend the East Asia Summit, at which strategic challenges including North Korea, will be opened up.
Together with ASEAN heads of state, Ardern will also join with other leaders of Australia. China, India, Japan, and the Republic of Korea in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Leaders’ Summit.
She is also expected to attend the Special Gala Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of ASEAN.
Ardern is New Zealand’s youngest prime minister since 1856. She was sworn into office last October 26. (PNA)
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