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ASEAN likely to grow 4.8% in 2017, ‘better than advanced economies’

Regional Secretary General Lim Hong Hin: Now is the time to rev up integration efforts
/ 10:00 PM April 06, 2017
FILE PHOTO

FILE PHOTO

LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu — The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is embarking on a new phase in the regional integration as the 10-member bloc is poised to grow faster than advanced economies amid uncertain global economic and political environment.

ASEAN Deputy Secretary General Lim Hong Hin said the region would likely grow at 4.8 percent this year, above the projected growth rate of advanced economies at 3.4 percent.

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“However, such growth projection must be viewed against the backdrop of uncertain times, with the rise of populism and protectionism sentiment posing a challenging context to the region’s integration agenda,” he said during the ASEAN Finance Ministers’ Investor Seminar (AFMIS) in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu on Thursday.

The AFMIS, held at Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa, served as the venue for ASEAN-member finance ministers to discuss investment opportunities in the region.

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It was also where they discussed the progress of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC)—which aims to create a single market and production base for the bloc—since it went into full swing two years ago.

Lim said the longer-term outlook has remained robust and positive, with the new AEC Blueprint 2025 charting a forward-looking, broader, and more ambitious direction for the region over the next 10 years.

The blueprint, he said, has underscored the transformative thrust of global trends and in keeping up, the ASEAN would have to go beyond its existing areas of cooperation to include electronic commerce, global practices, global value chains, financial inclusion, and sustainable development, among others.

As the ASEAN moves away from being a production-driven economy to one that is productivity-driven, the region will increase its investment in research and development, commercialization of technology, as well as human resource development, according to Lim.

Furthermore, the bloc will continue to support the development of micro, small, and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs) as this sector acts as the backbone of the regional economy, Lim has said.  SFM

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TAGS: AEC Blueprint 2025, ASEAN, Asean Economic Community, ASEAN Finance Ministers’ Investor Seminar, Asean growth, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, business, commercialization of technology, Diplomacy, economic growth, economic integration, Economy, Finance, Foreign affairs, global finance, human resource development, human resources, integration, international economy, International relations, International Trade, Lapu-Lapu City, Lim Hong Hin, production-driven economy, productivity-driven economy, Regional integration, research and development, single market, single production base, small and medium-scale enterprises, Technology, trade, world economy
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