MANILA -- President Rodrigo Duterte urged fellow Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders to push for globalization that is inclusive and empowers smaller economies like the Philippines.
Department of Trade and Investment (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez said Duterte made this appeal during the APEC Economic Leader's Meeting on Saturday during the APEC Leaders' retreat session, as well as the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) meeting on Sunday.
He mentioned that we have to make sure that globalization would really benefit everyone, Lopez said in a press briefing attended by Filipino reporters in Papua New Guinea on Sunday.
Lopez said Duterte is so passionate about inclusive globalization where bigger nations empower smaller countries.
It's like a big brother principle wherein the bigger countries would in a way help empower smaller countries, Lopez said.
The messages of our president were very clear in making sure that globalization should not really affect small countries and, at the same time, smaller players in small countries, he added.
Lopez said APEC leaders have also focused their discussion on how the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) will embrace highly-digitalized business processes.
He said Duterte has emphasized the need for the MSMEs to be given more proper training, retraining and education to prepare them for digitalization of businesses.
He knows that (the) economy is really going towards that direction: digitalizing business. At this point, he said, very important to provide a lot of training, retraining, education for the MSMEs and, I guess, the population in general so that we really have a high-quality work force and technology-oriented Filipinos, Lopez said.
Duterte also stressed that win-win arrangements and mutual respect for sovereignty must be adopted by each country as part of globalization.
Our president has mentioned time again we are friend to anyone and enemy to no one, Lopez said.
Lopez, meanwhile, assured that the Philippines' sovereignty will not be compromised by the loan agreements that the country and China will sign during Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Manila on November 20-21.
No. We are very clear on sovereignty. Mutual respect for sovereignty is very solid as far as we are concerned, he said.
Lopez assured that the Department of Finance and other related government agencies will review the terms that would be best for us.
Hindi naman tayo papasok (We will not enter) if those are unreasonable terms and terms that are worse than other sources, Lopez said.
Duterte is set to return to the Philippines on Sunday afternoon after the two-day APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting held for the first time in Papua New Guinea.
The President went to Papua New Guinea straight from his successful participation in the 33rd ASEAN Summit and Related Summits held from November 13-15.
Aside from attending the APEC events, Duterte also met with some 1,000 members of the Filipino community in Papua New Guinea on November 16. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency