PH appreciates need to interconnect with ASEAN: Cayetano
Posted: 2017-Nov-13 10.00.01 UTC+0800
MANILA — Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano on Sunday said the Philippines "fully appreciates" the need to interconnect among countries belonging to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
"We in the Philippines fully appreciate the need to interconnect. Being an archipelago, the country strives to Build, Bridge, Build connectivity infrastructure to enlarge its market base, diversify its financial systems and connect the Filipino people with its ASEAN neighbors," Cayetano said in a speech read by his Undersecretary Jose Luis Montales.
Cayetano made this remark during the launch of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025 Videos on the sidelines of the 31st ASEAN Summit held at the Marriott Hotel in Pasay City.
The digital content of the MPAC 2025 involves the premiere of the first of six videos, which, according to Cayetano, showcases "the vision, rationale, aspirations" of the master plan in advancing ASEAN connectivity.
On the other hand, the MPAC 2025, Cayetano said is "a collective response of all ASEAN countries towards regional integration and the more competitive, inclusive, and cohesive region."
"It seeks to achieve a seamlessly and comprehensively connected ASEAN that will promote competitiveness, inclusiveness and a greater sense of community," Cayetano said.
Moreover, the MPAC 2025 seeks to further enhance infrastructure, trade facilitation and community building strategies to promote ASEAN's further integration.
Cayetano said ASEAN connectivity is key towards achieving the integration of the economic, political-security and socio-cultural pillars within one community.
"Our regional connectivity plans a great role in realizing the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 to transform the region through the ASEAN Economic Community, into one of the opportunities for our peoples, our business communities, and our external partners," Cayetano said.
The Foreign Affairs Secretary added that he also expects greater and more efficient inter-regional trade, which is a vital component towards realizing the goal of a single market and production base for the benefit of the entire region.
He also pointed out the need for the collaborative action of all stakeholders to turn this potential into reality.
"An enabling operating environment as well as coordination among the different stakeholders, and the full utilization of our respective expertise and resources will be necessary for translating the plans, goals, and strategies outlined within MPAC 2025 into viable projects and initiatives," Cayetano said.
Moreover, he said that ASEAN may also utilize the private sector in order to address gaps and the needs of infrastructure investment throughout the region, such as through public-private partnerships (PPP).
Cayetano acknowledged that developing ASEAN Connectivity is still "a work in progress" to facilitate a rules-based, people-centered and people-oriented ASEAN Community.
However, he said that MPAC 2025 Videos will broadcast a clear, consistent message on ASEAN Connectivity to a broader audience and raise awareness of the region's connectivity initiatives. (PNA)