The bible of Philippine politics

Deeper ASEAN economic integration needed to counter protectionism, trade tensions – Duterte

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By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte expressed alarm over protectionism and ongoing trade war between the United States and China, saying it undermines the growth and economic stability of ASEAN countries.

During the plenary session of the 35th ASEAN Summit, Duterte encouraged the member countries to strengthen regional integration to counter current trade tensions.

The effects of the escalating U.S.-China trade tensions, according to him, can negatively impact upon food security in the developing world.

“We need an open and rules-based trading system to sustain growth. Thus, we should ensure the continued relevance and effectiveness of the World Trade Organization. And, ASEAN must accelerate deeper economic integration through concrete programs and projects, such as RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership),” he added.

Meanwhile, Duterte asked his fellow Southeast Asian leaders to conserve biodiversity for sustainable development.

ASEAN should not sacrifice the environment and the region’s rich biodiversity, particularly in the maritime domain, in its quest for progress, the President said.

“We must work together to address the problem of marine debris. And we must build resilient and stronger communities to adapt to the effects of climate change,” he concluded.

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