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Department of Foreign Affairs

President Arroyo to Visit London and Saudi Arabia

Posted: 12 Sep 2009 12:29 AM PDT

PR-711-09, 12 September 2009 – President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will visit the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia next week to further promote the Philippines as an attractive investment destination, to look after the welfare of Filipino overseas workers and strengthen bilateral relations with the two countries.

The President was invited by London-based newsmagazine The Economist to deliver a keynote address in The Emerging Markets Summit to be held on September 17-18 in London.

She will join five other heads of government who have confirmed participation in the Summit namely Thailand, Ukraine, Tunisia, Turkey, and Rwanda, which are all emerging economies.

The theme of the high-level conference, which is sponsored by one of the world’s highly influential and leading newsmagazine, is “Globalization Redefined by Emerging Markets.” Over 300 business leaders and investors from all over the world are expected to participate in this prestigious forum which will give the President the opportunity to share the Philippines’ view on Asia’s leadership in the global economic recovery and to promote the Philippines as a highly attractive investment destination.

The President is expected to highlight the resiliency and continued growth of the Philippine economy which reported a positive 1.5 percent economic growth in the second quarter of 2009, three times the median of 0.5 percent expected growth, amidst the current global economic downturn.

President Arroyo will also meet key business leaders to further increase trade and investments into the country.

On the occasion of the President’s visit, two bilateral agreements will be signed which will intensify legal cooperation between the Philippines and the United Kingdom. Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto G. Romulo and British First Secretary of State Lord Mandelson will sign the RP-UK Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty and the RP-UK Extradition Treaty. President Arroyo will witness the signing of these two landmark agreements.

Given the presence of about 200,000 Filipinos in the United Kingdom, 70 percent of which are in the Greater London area, President Arroyo will meet with members of the Filipino community and encourage them to further contribute to the continued economic resiliency of the country.

From London, President Arroyo will proceed to and will visit Saudi Arabia on September 21-23, upon the invitation of King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud.

The President will grace the official inauguration of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Thuwal, Rabigh, Saudi Arabia on September 23. The inauguration is highly significant as it will coincide with the celebration of the Saudi National Day and the Eid El-Fitr, marking the end of Holy Month of Ramadan.

President Arroyo will take up and discuss with King Abdullah the further strengthening of bilateral relations, including closer economic cooperation, as well as the Philippines’ bid for observer status in the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and the welfare of the biggest concentration of Filipino workers in the Middle East.

Pardons for those in jail are often granted during the Holy Month of Ramadan.

President Arroyo will also meet with the Saudi Minister of Agriculture to discuss bilateral agricultural projects. She will also meet the members of the Saudi business community to discuss investments proposals to the Philippines.

The President and her lean delegation will return to Manila from Saudi Arabia. END

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Embassy Hosts ‘Fashion Walk’ with Patis TesoroPosted: 11 Sep 2009 02:43 AM PDT

PR-710-09, 11 September 2009 — The Philippine Embassy in South Africa hosted a mini-fashion show entitled ‘Fashion Walk with Ms. Patis Tesoro,’ featuring creations by renowned Filipino couturier Maria Beatriz ‘Patis’ Tesoro.

The show was held at the ‘Bahay Pilipino’ Official Residence last September 4.

Philippine Ambassador to South Africa Virgilio A. Reyes, Jr. said Ms. Tesoro was in South Africa after returning from Swaziland where she explored cultural links with the Southern Africa kingdom.

The Ambassador and Ms. Tesoro had an audience with H. M. King Mswati III and were presented to the Queen Mother at a public meeting in Siteki.

The Embassy invited members of the diplomatic community in Pretoria, media practitioners, notable South Africans, and members of the Filipino community to attend the fashion show.

The show’s guest of honor was His Royal Highness Prince Lonkhokhela Dlamini of Swaziland, brother to His Majesty King Mswati III, and Chair of the National Council of Arts and Culture of Swaziland.

Ambassador Reyes introduced the designer to the audience, speaking of the importance of her visit to South Africa and Swaziland, and her intentions of being a consultant on reviving some arts and crafts in Swaziland.

Ms. Tesoro then explained the evolution of her own work, explaining how, for example, piña fabric used to be so rare since fewer people had been making it, but it had now become more common since Filipinos saw the value of the fabric in the culture. She has also since become an environmental advocate, striving to protect forests from encroaching over-exploitation.

The show featured her collection of Filipiniana-based costumes modelled by teenagers from Pretoria and members of the Filipino community. The audience applauded each piece as they came onto the fashion walkway.

A cocktail of Filipino delicacies followed the fashion show. END

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Secretary Romulo Attends 187th Anniversary of the Independence of BrazilPosted: 11 Sep 2009 02:29 AM PDT

11 September 2009—Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto G. Romulo offers a toast to Ambassador Alcides Gastao Recides Prates (2nd R), on the occasion of the 187th Anniversary of the Independence of the Federative Republic of Brazil held on 7 September at the Mandarin Hotel, Makati City.

The Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, His Eminence Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams of the Holy See (1st R) and other diplomats and guests joined Secretary Romulo in congratulating Brazil on its National Day. (Photo by Benjamin Remo, DFA-PISU)

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