Speaker calls for united ASEAN economic push

August 7, 2023 Jester P. Manalastas 181 views

SPEAKER Ferdinand Martin Romualdez called for broader solidarity and cooperation among Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states to sustain the momentum of the region’s post-pandemic economic recovery and reduce poverty amid global headwinds.

In his statement at the plenary session of the 44th AIPA (ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly) General Assembly in Jakarta, Indonesia Romualdez noted that high inflation and global economic slowdown pose a threat to the region’s growth trajectory prospects.

“High food and oil prices in particular have impacted households’ ability to afford other discretionary items. These points raise the urgency for ASEAN Member States to take action to build resilient, sustainable, and inclusive long- term growth,” Romualdez, the head of the Philippine delegation said.

“AIPA must recognize that the path to greater prosperity in the region is by greater regional cooperation and interdependence,” he added.

The AIPA General Assembly, according to Romualdez, presents a relevant platform for dialogue and exchange of best practices of member parliaments.

Likewise, he said the region’s parliaments play a unique and crucial role in broadening progress in regional cooperation and sub-regional integration as legislative actions can facilitate access to markets, and improve resource allocation and regional productivity.

Along this line, he expressed support for increased focus of the BIMP-EAGA Vision 2025 on broad strategies to align sub-regional pandemic recovery and transformation efforts, particularly in areas of food security, creative industries, tourism, and green recovery.

Established in 1994, the Brunei Darussalam–Indonesia–Malaysia–Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area, or BIMP-EAGA, is meant to spur development in remote and less developed areas in the four participating Southeast Asian countries.

BIMP EAGA’s Vision 2025 is to be a resilient, inclusive, sustainable, and economically competitive sub-region of ASEAN to narrow development gaps.

To better achieve this, Speaker Romualdez pushed for the holding of the first BIMP-EAGA Parliamentary Forum in 2024 in Davao City, in order to incorporate policy-making in BIMP-EAGA affairs.

Romualdez also shared with fellow ASEAN lawmakers the Philippine roadmap toward a stronger and more resilient economy.