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High Level Policy Dialogue on the APEC Women and the Economy Fora. Philippine Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) Secretary Gregory Domingo (second from left) welcomed and congratulated today (September 18, 2015) the participants of the High Level Policy Dialogue (HLPD) on the APEC Women and the Economy Fora which opened today at the Philippine International Convention Center. “Your participation bolters APEC’s strive to promote gender integration, gender equality and women’s economic empowerment towards fostering sustainable economic growth and prosperity in the Asia Pacific economic region,” said Secretary Domingo, who is also this year’s chairman of the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade. Secretary Domingo also told participants that recent APEC MRT Meeting adopted the Boracay Action Agenda to Globalize Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), which promotes the direct participation of micro and small enterprises in regional and global trade. “With the promotion of MSMEs in the region, women enterprises stand to benefit as APEC is now also giving special focus to realizing the full economic potential of women,” he said. “The Philippines has a special advocacy for greater focus on micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in which a significant number of women are engaged as enterprise owners, managers, and workers, particularly in micro enterprises,” he added. The HLPD of the APEC Women and the Economy Fora’s main agenda seeks to push women’s greater access to capital; skills, capacity building, and health; women’s leadership, voice, and agency; and to promote women’s leadership in competitiveness and technology and innovation. Joining the Secretary in the dialogue’s opening were (from left to right): Hon. Fumiko Hayashi, Mayor of Yokohama City, Japan; Hon. Nora K. Terrado, Chair of the APEC Women and the Economy 2015 Fora; Ms. Emmeline L. Verzosa,, executive director of the Philippine Commission on Women and also the Chair of the Policy Partnership on Women and the Economy; and Ms. Irene Sim, Chief-of-Staff, APEC Secretariat. (DTI-PRU)