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By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday reminded fellow leaders that development assistance should help developing countries build capacities and avoid the risk of fostering dependence.

“Development assistance should build on capacities of nations. It should never foster dependence,” said Duterte during his speech at the Belt and Road forum high-level meeting in Beijing, China.

The President also underscored the important role played by foreign aid in promoting inclusive and sustainable growth.

“We must remember: Development assistance must be used as a genuine tool to bring about positive change in the lives of our peoples. And it must be a purposive decision of partner-states, taking into account mutual respect and mutual interests,” according to him.

“It should be based on reciprocal benefits, motivated by keen interest in partner states to bring about real progress,” he said, adding that “This should be the new normal. And it is in our interest to work together to make this a reality.”

In his address, Duterte also reiterated the Philippines’ shared commitment to collective vision of common prosperity on the basis of equality and mutual respect.

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