President Duterte Asks ASEAN to Strengthen their Ranks; Says Globalization has damaged poor economies

“APEC needs the cooperation of the business community to addressing the pessimism and suspicion of those who do not feel the benefits of free trade and globalization,” President Duterte

DAVAO CITY, Philippines- President Rodrigo Duterte asked members of the Asian nation to put their acts together and forge links to strengthen their ranks in the face of globalization as many countries are lagging behind.

Facing before the leaders of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) “CEO Summit on Regional Economic Integration: Lessons Learnt from ASEAN” held at Ariyana Da Nang Exhibition and Convention centre.

Duterte emphasized that APEC needs the cooperation of the business community to “address the pessimism and suspicion of those who do not feel the benefits of free trade and globalization.”

He said member economies need the cooperation of the business community to ensure that the benefits of free trade and globalization are felt by all, particularly the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

He also urged big business leaders to support the micro, small and medium enterprises by involving “as many MSMEs in your own supply chains in your own country and retail operations to unleash the  entrepreneurial spirit of our peoples.”

Duterte said that while globalization is beneficial to the world economy, it has also damaged poor economies. “Globalization by itself is the deprivation of some and those we would call ‘left behind.” He cited democratic movements and investment on human development as possible solutions. “It behooves upon us really to help the other develop their capacity-building unless it is done that you have to educate also the others who are left behind,” he said.

In the Philippines, the ill effect of globalization is “brain drain” where talented Filipinos migrate to developed countries. There have also been some lost opportunities for some Southeast Asian countries which export raw materials to industrialized countries.

Duterte said that as leaders in their respective fields, businessmen must ensure that globalization does not only lead to wealth generation, but equitably, to wealth distribution. “To unleash the full potential of globalization, APEC must create an inclusive environment where everyone has the opportunity for growth and this can be achieved through the promotion of competition, complementation, cooperation among business,” he added.

Another solution is the adoption of policies that would allow developing countries to get a larger share of the global value chain, Duterte emphasized. “This can be accomplished by providing greater market access for their citizens and investing in education, training, and other capacity-building opportunities,” he pointed out.

Duterte encouraged the ASEAN member state not only to pursue growth through regional economic integration, but also to forge a more humane world characterized by shared peace and optimism in the future.

The President said he will bring up the issue “forcefully” at the 31st ASEAN Summit and Related Summits to be held in Manila from November 10 to 14, 2017. “We need to have integration and cohesiveness, and we must act as one,” he said.-Radzini Oledan/