Investors’ support needed to make AEC happen – PH exec
SUPPORT from investor community will be needed to build the truly dynamic regional economy aspired for in the Asean Economic Community (AEC) blueprint.
Massive investments would be needed to realize the AEC blueprint, said Philippine Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III in his speech during the Asean Finance Ministers’ Investor Seminar (AFMIS) in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu on Thursday.
Dominguez, however, said that the bloc has momentum and opportunity on its side.
“The support of the investor community will be indispensible for this undertaking to succeed,” he said.
More extensive cooperation and integration have been beneficial to the Asean member-economies, said Dominguez.
Since all of the region’s economies are driven to a large extent by trade, the Asean Free Trade Area has provided the bloc a framework for dramatically increasing intra-regional trade investments.
“This allowed us to negotiate as a bloc with the larger trading economies around us through the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP),” Dominguez added.
The RCEP is a proposed free trade agreement between the Asean’s 10 member-states and six states which the region has existing FTA’s with including Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand.
Negotiations were formally launched in 2012 at the Asean Summit in Cambodia and the agreement is scheduled to be finalized by the end of 2017.
Dominguez said that over the longer term, they envision an AEC that will provide a stronger driver for growth among themselves and the global economy.
The AEC provides a strong market of over 600 million people; its 300-million-strong labor force is young, talented, and dynamic; respective governments are convinced that globalization is the way to progress; and economies have much head room for rapid expansion, beginning with a massive infrastructure build-up that will bring about increased efficiency in the region.
“Toward realizing an AEC, we are promoting e-commerce in the region, pooling resources to development the infrastructure we need, facilitating trade, and supporting each others’ rising consumer markets,” said Dominguez.
Asean Deputy Secretary General Lim Hong Hin also touched on the AEC blueprint in a speech at the AFMIS. (See related story)
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