EDITORIAL - Regional integration
(The Philippine Star) - November 12, 2017 - 4:00pm

If the Europeans can do it, President Duterte said, why can’t those in the Pacific Rim? He was talking about regional economic integration, which is now underway among the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

ASEAN, however, is just one of the regions that are part of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. With diverse rules and cultures, APEC members have had a more complicated task of making free trade work for the benefit of both its prosperous and less developed economies.

Even ASEAN economic integration, established in 2015, is a challenging work in progress. Several ASEAN economies have been better prepared than the Philippines for the competition that is heightened by regional integration, and for the opportunities opened by the free flow of goods, services and labor, funds, technology and ideas. Many Filipino entrepreneurs are not fully aware and have not yet availed themselves of those opportunities.

Corruption and red tape also hinder the Philippines’ integration into the regional economy. Systems and processes that have become highly efficient in certain ASEAN states are not matched by those in the Philippines, which are designed to be cumbersome to encourage the payment of “facilitation fees” or grease money. Economic restrictions enshrined in the Constitution also deter foreign direct investments and prevent the country’s full integration into open markets.

Certain sectors particularly in agriculture are not ready for competition, as the government fails to match the support provided by other countries to their farmers, fisherfolk and agribusiness entrepreneurs. The quality of Philippine education, despite improvements in recent years, also continues to lag behind several Asian economies.

In Vietnam for the APEC summit last week, President Duterte promised to discuss integration, the problems arising from globalization as well as support for small entrepreneurs as the Philippines hosts the ASEAN summit and related meetings. After the summit, he must ensure that there is sufficient follow-through so that all the discussions will lead to solid results.

Philstar
Facebook
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with
Read and share the latest news
whenever and wherever you are.
Top Stories
Features the most relevant stories,
exclusive content, analyses and special reports.
As It Happens
Get bite-sized highlights and up-to-date
information as the news breaks.
Latest
View the most recent
stories of the day.
Log-in
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet,
consectetur adipiscing elit.
Quisque justo est, auctor vel ullamcorper.
Log-in
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet,
consectetur adipiscing elit.
Quisque justo est, auctor vel ullamcorper.
How to follow As It Happens stories
STEP 1
Click the story in the As it Happens section.
How to follow As It Happens stories
STEP 2
Click "Follow Story" for updates on the news.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Aliquam eu metus vitae felis tincidunt finibus ut id sapien. Integer volutpat dui eu malesuada dignissim. Sed varius justo nulla, fringilla convallis sem porta sed.
How to follow Author
STEP 1
Click on the author's name in the article.
How to follow Author
STEP 2
Once you click on the author's name, you will be
brought to the Authors page. Click "Follow Author"
to stay updated on the author's works
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Aliquam eu metus vitae felis tincidunt finibus ut id sapien. Integer volutpat dui eu malesuada dignissim. Sed varius justo nulla, fringilla convallis sem porta sed.
How to follow Tags
STEP 1
Click on a tag in the article.
How to follow Tags
STEP 2
When you click on a tag, it will take you to the
dedicated tag page where you'll see the article
viewed, along with other stories with that tag.

Click the "follow tag" button to stay updated on
the topic.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Aliquam eu metus vitae felis tincidunt finibus ut id sapien. Integer volutpat dui eu malesuada dignissim. Sed varius justo nulla, fringilla convallis sem porta sed.