Duterte: APEC will only be relevant if prosperity is shared by all

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 9) — President Rodrigo Duterte is encouraging world leaders to address globalization, and pursue what he calls "shared economic prosperity."

In his speech during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit in Da Nang, Vietnam Thursday, the President said APEC "will only be relevant if prosperity is shared by all."


He said capacities of poorer countries should also be developed, and big countries must help in this endeavor. Physical connectivity between trade partners should be made, but people-to-people connectivity should also be promoted as a "critical growth and development strategy."

One way to do this, he said would be to "adopt an inclusive business model that provides opportunities for those at the bottom of the pyramid."

Business leaders can have a direct hand in making this happen, said Duterte, as they can "involve as many MSMEs (micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises)" from their countries in their supply chain and retail operations.

"Through this, you do not only integrate them in the way you do business, you also unleash the entrepreneurial spirit of our peoples," Duterte added.

The President noted the importance of the cooperation of business leaders to make sure the benefits of trade and cooperation are felt by all.

"As leaders in your respective fields, we must ensure that globalization does not lead to wealth generation, but equitably wealth distribution as well," he said.

To unleash the potential of globalization, an environment where opportunities for growth must be promoted, said the President, stressing that this can be done through the promotion of "competition, complemetation, and cooperation" among businesses, as well as the adoption of policies that would allow developing countries to have a larger share of global value chain.

Charity is not what less developed economies and small businesses need, said Duterte.

"What they need are greater market access and the opportunity to participate in growth and development."

The President was expected to push for the full participation of MSMEs at the APEC Summit, a foreign affairs official said. This was among other key priorities such as sustainable and inclusive growth, connectivity, and human resource development.

"During the past year the Duterte administration has made inclusive growth and pro-poor agenda, so the hallmarks of its development plan; and this ties into bringing MSMEs into the global value chain," Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Leo Herrera-Lim said in a briefing on Monday.

Nine out of the country's top 10 trading partners are APEC members, he noted.

APEC is a regional economic forum established in 1989 which aims to promote sustainable economic growth and prosperity in  the Asia-Pacific region.


The APEC member countries are Australia, Brunei  Darussalam, Canada, Chile, China, Chinese Taipei, Hong  Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New  Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia,  Singapore, Thailand, United States, and Vietnam.