President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, along with the leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states and South Korean President Moon Jae-in do the traditional ASEAN handshake as they pose for a photo prior to the start of 20th ASEAN-Republic of Korea Summit at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City on November 13, 2017. ACE MORANDANTE/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO
MANILA, Philippines – The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders as well as its partner countries – China, Japan and South Korea, have agreed to cooperate and unite to further improve their respective economies.
This is amid the rise of protectionism in other countries. The countries espousing a protectionist agenda prevent the entry of international trade or competition from foreign companies to protect local businesses.
The three biggest trading partners of ASEAN have expressed positive outlook in advancing the southeast Asian economic community.
“I hope that through this Summit we can build a consensus and send a positive signal that regional integration and advancing the East Asia economic community serves to benefit the people and the countries in the region,” Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reiterated the importance of financial cooperation in the region saying, “In the midst of concerns about the rise of protectionism and inward-looking orientation in the world, in order to enhance predictability of the economies of the region, to mitigate vulnerabilities, and to maintain and strengthen the free trade system, the significance of financial cooperation between the ASEAN Plus Three becomes increasingly greater.”
South Korean President Moon Jae-in also called for the establishment of a regional community saying, “Let us create a vision for the East Asian community of peace, prosperity and progress that has overcome the complex challenges including protectionist and self-centered approaches to globalization, aging and climate change,”
Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also noted during the session the importance of pushing for economic integration.
As the next ASEAN chairman, the prime minister vowed to further strengthen the cooperation and dialogue of Southeast Asian countries with its three Asian partner countries. – Nel Maribojoc | UNTV News & Rescue