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The Philippines calls for ASEAN to strengthen economic integration through RCEP

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks in Manila on July 22, 2019. Photo: AFP / TTXVN

Speaking at the 35th ASEAN Summit in Bangkok, Thailand, President Duterte warned that global protectionism and global trade tensions are now undermining the development of economies. ASEAN, including the Philippines. Duterte emphasized: "We need an open and rules-based trading system to sustain growth. Therefore, we need to ensure the continued importance and effectiveness of the Trade Organization. world (WTO) ". According to him, ASEAN needs to accelerate deeper economic integration through specific programs and projects, such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

RCEP, initiated by ASEAN in 2012, is a proposed regional free trade agreement between the 10 ASEAN member countries and the six free trade partners of the bloc – China, Japan, Korea, Australia. , New Zealand and India. As a large-scale free trade agreement of the Asia-Pacific region, the RCEP, when signed, will include 16 countries in a total trade of 3.56 billion people and trade value. over 1,000 billion USD (equivalent to 29% of global trade value). Philippine Trade and Industry Minister Ramon Lopez said the RCEP was witnessing a "very positive progress" at the 35th ASEAN Summit and all member countries hoped the RCEP negotiations could be completed before the month. 2/2020.

Also in his statement, Mr. Duterte called on ASEAN to ensure sustainable environment and protect biodiversity in the development process. He emphasized that ASEAN should not sacrifice the environment and the rich biodiversity of the region, especially the marine environment.

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