ASEAN focuses on inclusive growth

DAVAO CITY -- The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), deemed Asia's economic powerhouse, is working to achieve more inclusive growth so its people, especially the poor, can benefit from economic growth.

Ma. Hellen De La Vega, Asst. Secretary of the Office of ASEAN Affairs-Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), noted that ASEAN gross domestic product (GDP) amounted to USD 2.43 trillion, the third largest in Asia and the seventh largest in the world.

"That is the ultimate goal: the reduction of poverty," she said on the sidelines of a roadshow for the ASEAN Summit 2017 here on Saturday.

De Vega said ASEAN members were working to bring such economic benefits to 620 million people in the region even amid diverse political system and economic development.

"We are looking at an ASEAN community that is people-oriented and people-centered ASEAN," she noted. "No economy, no sector should be left behind."

To achieve inclusive and innovation-led growth, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) official underscored the need to boost trade and investment; and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and digital economy, among others.

A people-oriented and people-centered ASEAN and inclusive, innovation-led growth are among Philippine thematic priorities for ASEAN 2017.

Others include peace and stability in the region; maritime security and cooperation; ASEAN's resiliency; and ASEAN: a model of regionalism, a global player.

The country will launch the ASEAN 2017 here on Sunday which carries the theme "Partnering for change, engaging the world". (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency