PH to host 2015 APEC summit

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines will soon start its preparations for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in 2015, after it was formally announced that the country will host it for that year.

The Philippines joins Indonesia (2013), China (2014), and Peru (2016) as the next hosts of the annual meeting, according to a joint statement released at the end of the 2012 summit in Vladivostok, Russia, last September 6.

Bali will be the venue for next year's summit, the statement added.

Late last month, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Laura del Rosario said the government has no venue for the summit yet, but said they will commence preparations by 2013. She said they would need at a place with at least 63 presidential suites to accommodate the dignitaries in attendance.

Boracay and Amanpulo have been suggested as possible venues, Del Rosario also said.

The last time the country hosted the APEC summit was in 1996, led by President Fidel V. Ramos. It was held in Subic, where the participating world leaders were billeted in specially-constructed "APEC villas."

Philippine Ambassador to Russia Alejandro Mosquera said the 2012 APEC summit will give the Philippines ideas for hosting the event come 2015.

In addition, 72 Filipino staff from the Movenpick Resort and Spa in Cebu were flown in to Vladivostok to help in assisting the delegates during the summit, held from September 2 to 9. -