Trump praises Philippines for closing gender gap

MANILA, Philippines – US President Donald Trump praised the Philippines for closing the gender gap in a speech at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit in Da Nang, Vietnam.

"For 11 consecutive years, the World Economic Forum has ranked the Philippines first among Asian countries in closing the gender gap and embracing women leaders in business and in politics," said Trump on Friday, November 10.

The Philippines ranked 10th in WEF's Global Gender Gap report in 2017. While the country slipped 3 notches from 7th place in 2016, it maintained its status of being the most gender equal country in Asia.

Trump added, "The Philippines has emerged as a proud nation of strong and devout families." (WATCH: Trump at the APEC CEO Summit 2017)

Trump is in the middle of his trip to 5 Asian countries. He and other world leaders are set to visit the Philippines from November 12 to 14 for the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Summits.

'Incredible transformation' in Asia

The US President also commended other Indo-Pacific countries in his speech, and spoke of the "incredible transformation that we have seen across the region."

He said host country Vietnam "is one of the fastest-growing economies on Earth. It has already increased more than 30 times over, and the Vietnamese students rank among the best students in the world."

Indonesia, he said, has "lifted themselves from poverty to become one of the fastest-growing nations of the G20."

As for Thailand, he noted that it "has become an upper middle-income country in less than a generation. Its majestic capital of Bangkok is now the most visited city on Earth."

Malaysia "has rapidly developed through recent decades, and it is now ranked as one of the best places in the world to do business."

Singapore citizens "are now among the highest earners in the world," while South Koreans "enjoy higher incomes than the citizens of many European Union countries," Trump continued. 

He then mentioned China's "impressive achievements over the past several decades" and Japan's "dynamic democracy in a land of industrial, technological, and cultural wonders."

Countries outside of APEC, said Trump, "are also making great strides in this new chapter for the Indo-Pacific." India, for example, "has achieved astounding growth and a new world of opportunity for its expanding middle class" since opening its economy, noted Trump. –

Michael Bueza

Michael Bueza is a researcher and data curator under Rappler's Research Team. He works on data about elections, governance, and the budget. He also follows the Philippine pro wrestling scene and the WWE. Michael is also part of the Laffler Talk podcast trio.