Pres­i­dent rues brain drain, glob­al­iza­tion at APEC CEO meet­ing

Business World - - THENATION -

GLOB­AL­IZA­TION HAS pressed the bright­est work­ers from poor South­east Asian coun­tries to move over­seas in a brain drain that must be re­versed if real de­vel­op­ment is to be achieved, Philip­pine Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo R. Duterte said Thurs­day.

In an im­pas­sioned ap­peal by a leader better known for ex­ple­tive- flecked out­bursts, Mr. Duterte said the ef­forts of poorer coun­tries to rise up the value chain are be­ing un­der­cut by mass mi­gra­tion of skilled work­ers.

“Glob­al­iza­tion to a cer­tain ex­tent has re­ally dam­aged poor economies,” he said in a speech to CEOs gath­ered in Da Nang, Vietnam, ahead of the Asi­aPa­cific Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion (APEC) sum­mit.

By way of ex­am­ple he said, “the best of our young (Filipinos)... tend to go to the places where the econ­omy is thriv­ing,” such as the United States.

More than 10 mil­lion Filipinos work over­seas, around 10% of the pop­u­la­tion, re­mit­ting bil­lions of dol­lars back to the coun­try each year.

He ac­knowl­edged Don­ald J. Trump’s com­plaints that glob­al­iza­tion has also sent Amer­i­can man­u­fac­tur­ing jobs to cheaper coun­tries such as China.

But Mr. Duterte said poorer na­tions faced the hard­est edge of global com­merce as they are stripped of la­bor and raw ma­te­ri­als to fuel a world econ­omy they can­not com­pete in.

He urged ASEAN — the 10-mem­ber South­east Asian bloc of na­tions — to speed up eco­nomic in­te­gra­tion to power the re­gion up the man­u­fac­tur­ing chain, re­tain its skilled work­ers and ed­u­cate those “left be­hind.”

“We only pro­vide the raw ma­te­ri­als” which are then sent back by richer man­u­fac­tur­ing coun­tries for “four times the price”, he said, adding, “That is glob­al­iza­tion.”

He vowed to “force­fully” carry the mes­sage of unity to the ASEAN sum­mit which he is host­ing in Manila from Mon­day.

Glob­al­iza­tion and the rules of trade are un­der the mi­cro­scope in Vietnam this week, where world lead­ers in­clud­ing Mr. Trump, China’s Xi Jin­ping and Vladimir Putin are set to con­verge on Fri­day for the APEC sum­mit. —

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