LAPULAPU CITY(PIA) -- In today's ASEAN Finance Ministers' Investment Seminar (AFMIS) Deputy Secretary General Dr. Lim Hin Hon stressed the need for more investments on infrastructure to further strengthen the regional connectivity.
DSG Lim said ASEAN has found itself in an interesting phase and of heightened expectations as the region is becoming more competitive, vibrant and integrated.
[ASEAN is] projected to grow at 4.8 percent, well above the projected growth rate of 3.4 percent of an advanced economy, DSG Lim noted.
He added that ASEAN will go to new areas of cooperation such as e-commerce, good regulatory practices, global value chains, financial inclusion and sustainable development.
DSG Lim mentioned that surveys show ASEAN's growing clout in the world economy. The New ASEAN Business Sentiments Survey revealed that 85 percent of the surveyed company expected trade and investment to increase over the next five years. Around 74 percent of the companies recognize the importance of ASEAN in contributing to the increase of global revenues covering the same period.
Another survey, the 2017 US ASEAN Business Outlook, noted the region's invaluable impact on worldwide revenue over the past two years.
Despite the optimism, issues that threaten the integration must not be overlooked.
Such an overall growth projection must be viewed against the backdrop of uncertain times with the rise of populism and protectionism sentiment causing a challenging context to the region's integration agenda, he said.
Department of Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez in his welcome remarks said that all the member economies are driven to a large extent by trade.
Our governments are convinced that globalization is the way to progress, we have much headroom for rapid expansion, beginning with a massive infrastructure build up that will bring our region increased efficiency, Dominguez related.
After the plenary session of the ASEAN finance ministers, a networking lunch followed. Global financial institutions and multilateral companies that have a strong presence in the region attended the Cebu AFMIS.
Source: Philippines Information Agency