ASEAN lead­ers call for ‘in­clu­sive glob­al­iza­tion’

Manila Bulletin - - Front Page - By BERNIE CAHILES-MAGKILAT

ASEAN, a group of 10 South­east Asian na­tions with vary­ing de­grees of eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, yes­ter­day called for “in­clu­sive glob­al­iza­tion” in what can be seen as a “backpedal­ing” to the ex­ist­ing trad­ing model that only height­ened eco­nomic dis­par­ity among peo­ple in the re­gion and strongly push for in­clu­siv­ity where every­one emerges as win­ners.

“We are com­mit­ted in hav­ing ASEAN’s eco­nomic growth through deeper re­gional in­te­gra­tion be in­clu­sive via ef­forts in com­ple­men­ta­tion, co­op­er­a­tion, and col­lab­o­ra­tion where every­one emerges as win­ners,” a state­ment by the 31st ASEAN Eco­nomic Meet­ing read. This year’s chair­man­ship is guided by the over­all ban­ner theme of “Part­ner­ing for Change, En­gag­ing the World”.

“More­over, we have been pro­mot­ing this view in other fora, in­clud­ing the re­cent APEC Sum­mit in Da Nang, Viet­nam, wherein we called on the old view of how com­pe­ti­tion and eco­nomic growth al­ways gen­er­ates win­ners and losers should be dis­carded.”

ASEAN, which is per­ceived as the grow­ing eco­nomic power, has a com­bined young pop­u­la­tion of 600 mil­lion peo­ple but half of that are considered liv­ing be­yond sub­sis­tence level.

Un­der the ASEAN Eco­nomic Com­mu­nity (AEC), the Philip­pines fo­cused on and pushed for ini­tia­tives that lead to the pro­mo­tion of an in­clu­sive and in­no­va­tive re­gion that ASEAN cit­i­zens can con­fi­dently and proudly call home.

To en­sure that those bot­tom of the pyra­mid can par­tic­i­pate in trade, the Philip­pines chair­man­ship has cham­pi­oned the de­vel­op­ment of mi­cro, small and medium en­ter­prises (MSMEs).

AEC’s pri­or­ity for this year mag­ni­fies the im­per­a­tive for the gains pre­sented by the on­go­ing eco­nomic in­te­gra­tion to be fully re­al­ized and shared by every­one to­wards re­gion­wide pros­per­ity. This ac­knowl­edges the so­cio-eco­nomic di­men­sion of re­gional eco­nomic in­te­gra­tion and its con­tri­bu­tion to poverty al­le­vi­a­tion through ad­vances in trade fa­cil­i­ta­tion, trade in ser­vices, con­nec­tiv­ity, in­clu­sive busi­ness, e-com­merce, and in­no­va­tion.

This also pro­vides for the par­tic­i­pa­tion of the MSME and marginal­ized sec­tors (e.g., women, youth) in com­mer­cial ac­tiv­i­ties. The MSME-ori­ented man­date that we carry this year aims to en­sure that MSMEs take full ad­van­tage and max­i­mize the ben­e­fits of the re­gional in­te­gra­tion by putting in place the en­vi­ron­ment that could en­able them to seize the op­por­tu­ni­ties from the AEC.

In a small group dis­cus­sion with DTI re­porters, Un­der­sec­re­tary and Philippine Lead Ceferino S. Rodolfo, ex­plained that the ASEAN Lead­ers’ state­ment took off from Pres­i­dent Duterte’s key­note speech at the re­cent APEC Sum­mit in DaNang, Viet­nam where the Pres­i­dent ad­mit­ted of a “push­back” from glob­al­iza­tion from de­vel­oped economies be­cause many fallen on the way side.

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