June 25, 2024

The Insider News

Direct from the source

Cold war mentality ain’t taking Aspac to prosperity- Marcos

Countries in the Asia Pacific region should chart their own destiny away from the clutches of intense geopolitical rivalry and there is unanimity among those nations not to embrace the Cold War mentality, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said on Monday.

Speaking during a luncheon hosted for him and the Philippine chief executive officers (CEOs) by the economic team in Davos, Switzerland, President Marcos said countries in the Asia Pacific are facing pressure to take sides as a result of intense geopolitical tension in the region.

According to the President, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies are very well committed to the idea that they cannot return to the Cold War formula, in which they have to choose whether to be under the Soviet Union or the United States spheres of influence.

And that puts the Philippines in a very precarious position, being on the front line of this conflict, Marcos said, adding “this is the very fine line that the Philippines has to choose.”

“However, I think we are determined as a group in ASEAN and in the Indo-Pacific, those around the Indo-Pacific, despite all of this conflict we are determined to stay away from that,” Marcos told the gathering.

“And simply because we are anchored in the idea that the future of the Indo-Pacific, the future of Asia-Pacific for example cannot be determined by any one but the countries of the Asia-Pacific and that removes us immediately from that idea that you must choose, we choose our friends, we choose our neighbors, that’s the choice that we will make,” the President pointed out.

At the same time, President Marcos also highlighted the tendency for nations to move toward nationalism and protectionism as a result of the present crises such as the coronavirus pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Pointing to the Philippines as an example, the President said the pandemic brought the country back to the basics, in which it could no longer depend on importation to survive.

“We have to strengthen our own local economy to be able to withstand shocks such as the pandemic, such as Ukraine in the future and there is an element, there is a tendency of protectionism in that because we take care first of our own businesses, we take care first of our own industries, we take care first of our own economy,” President Marcos argued.

Although there are some disruptions he described as “a very big bump on the road,” the President predicted that the world will find itself on the path toward globalization.

“I think the tendency after things have settled, after countries such as the Philippines have put in place the elements of policy, the elements of legislation that are necessary to be able to adjust to what is the new coming economy, once that is in place, I think that the globalization will start — we will start to return to the tendency of globalization. I think it is inevitable.”