2017 a good one for ASEAN: Lopez
Posted: 2017-Nov-13 10.00.01 UTC+0800
MANILA — 2017 is definitely a good year for ASEAN.
This, according to Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon M. Lopez during the 15th ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Council Meeting at the Manila Marriott Hotel, Pasay City Sunday.
"So dear colleagues, we started this year with high hopes and we are now concluding it on a high note. ASEAN has made tremendous progress and has had such a meaningful year this 2017," he added.
Such gains were made possible with the dedication of ASEAN economic, trade officials who worked unceasingly to achieve targets and solid support from state partners of the regional bloc, Lopez added.
"I recall 10 months ago when the Philippines officially launched its chairmanship of ASEAN bearing the banner theme: Partnering for Change, Engaging the World," the DTI secretary added.
Under this theme, the Philippine chairmanship has six priorities one of which was inclusive innovation-led growth for the ASEAN economic community. Lopez said this priority affirms trade and integration which is needed for the economic growth and development of the AEC.
"In this regard, ASEAN has achieved a measure of success as we continue to meet economies and pursue integration and cooperation with strategic external partners. The establishment of the AEC in 2015 has engendered enormous opportunities in the form of huge market worth 2.5 trillion dollars, vibrant flow of goods, services, investments and skilled labor are among the benefits of this economic integration," he said.
"Moreover, the ASEAN vision and AEC Blueprint 2015 demonstrates that the region is making good progress in formulating a clear way on how to collectively address the opportunity the AEC presents," he added.
However, despite these successes, Lopez admits that the growth is not shared by all.
"Truly inclusive and further progress in trade liberalization would be difficult if the benefits are not shared by all.
The theme inclusive innovation-led growth acknowledges the socio-economic dimension of regional economic concentration and its contribution to poverty alleviation," he added.
"These priorities urges us to strengthen our commitment for more inclusive participation in the process of community building where we are all partners and everyone contributes. This will likewise ensure that the themes presented by the economic integration are fully realized and shared by everyone in the region," Lopez bared. (PNA)