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MANILA, Philippines - Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario has recommended to President Benigno Aquino III to designate Secretary Mar Roxas as his Special Envoy to the 9th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) which will be held from September 21 to 25 in Nanning, China.
This announcement of the Department of Foreign Affairs came in the wake of debates on the Philippine approach to resolving territorial disputes with China at the West Philippine Sea.
CAEXPO, co-sponsored by China and ASEAN, is an international event held annually since 2004 with the objective of promoting the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (CAFTA). The CAEXPO is an excellent platform for cooperation in the fields of infrastructure investment, trade, and tourism, among others.
The Chinese government had earlier requested the Philippines to send a high-level delegation to the CAEXPO. China’s Vice President and presumptive President by October Xi Jinping is attending the CAEXPO.
The President of Myanmar, Prime Ministers of Laos and Vietnam, and the Deputy Prime Ministers of Malaysia and Thailand are expected to attend the CAEXPO.
According to the DFA, del Rosario’s recommendation is based on the Philippines being the Country of Honor in the next year’s CAEXPO. Secretary Edwin Lacierda was also recommended by DFA to join the other members of the Philippine delegation to the CAEXPO.
The DFA is making arrangements for Secretary Roxas and the Philippine delegation to meet with high-level Chinese officials.