APEC 101: How Did We Benefit From Hosting The Meetings in Cebu

Cebu was one of the ten (10) locations outside Metro Manila that hosted meetings at the senior and ministerial levels prior to the 2015 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders' Summit in Manila on 18-19 November. The other nine (9) locations are Boracay, Iloilo, Bacolod City, Clark, Bagac town (in Bataan), Laoag City, Subic, Tagaytay, and Pampanga.

APEC meetings in Cebu Philippines
APEC Cebu 2015



As part of the activities related to hosting the APEC meetings, the Philippine Information Agency spearheaded the APEC 101 Forum for bloggers and students in the afternoon of 7 October 2015 at the Dignitaries' Hall of the Cebu Provincial Capitol in Cebu City, Philippines. Together with other bloggers from the Cebu Blogging Community, I attended the forum to learn more about the APEC and how it has benefited Cebu and the Cebuanos.

Quick Facts About APEC 

Here are some quick facts I learned about APEC during the forum:
  • The idea of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation was put forward by then Australian prime minister Bob Hawke at a speech in Seoul, South Korea in 1989. It was established ten months later at an informal meeting of senior level officials and ministers at Canberra, Australia. 
  • The twelve (12) original members of the APEC were Australia, Philippines, Japan, South Korea, Brunei Darrussalam, Canada, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, and the United States. China, Hong Kong, and Chinese Taipei joined in 1991 while Mexico and Papua New Guinea entered in 1993. Chile followed in 1994. Peru, Russia, and Vietnam joined in 1998 bringing the total membership to 21.
  • The APEC annual leaders' summit was started by then United States president Bill Clinton at Blake Island, Washington, U.S.A. in 1993. Prior to that APEC was merely a dialogue between senior level officials and ministers.
  • The Republic of the Philippines last hosted the APEC Leaders' Summit in 1996 at the capital city of Manila.

How Has Cebu Benefited From APEC 2015

While APEC has done a lot for economies in the Asia-Pacific region for the last two decades, let us also look at how holding the senior officials and ministerial level meetings in Cebu this year benefited us  Cebuanos.

The senior official meeting and related sessions held between 22 August and 6 September drew some 3,000 delegates. While each of the meetings on finance, structural reforms, transportation, and energy between 7 September to 14 October is expected to draw an attendance of 90 to 700 participants. These numbers do not include the delegates' staff, spouses, and children who accompanied them to Cebu during the meetings.

These delegates and other individuals in their party spend an average of USD 100 each daily while they were in town. This has mostly benefited tourism industry front liners such as taxicab drivers and vendors of souvenir and gift items.

The increase in hotel occupancy also had a ripple effect on their suppliers, specially to farmers who sell their produce to hotels. Hotel workers also gained from the meetings held here. Radisson Blu announced that because of the PhP 10 million it has collected in service fees, they will be rewarding each of their 200+ employees with a bonus of PhP 43,000. Hosting the meetings in Cebu also generated employment albeit temporary.

Cebu's hosting of the APEC meetings also showcased Cebu's world-class ability to host events. In fact, Cebu is considered a template in terms of hosting the APEC meetings. This should translate to more MICE (Meetings, Incentive, Conferences, and Exhibits) bookings for Cebu in the near future.

The things mentioned above are but some of the benefits Cebu has gained from hosting some of he APEC meetings this year. There are a lot more perks Cebu obtained from hosting this important international event. Do you know how else Cebu has benefited from hosting the APEC meetings this year? Let us talk about it in the comments section.



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