Ensure 'inclusive development' for citizens; refrain from 'uncritically'
jumping into APEC's 'trading bandwagon'
MANILA, Nov. 4 (PNA) -- A leading socio-political analyst has reminded
the Philippine government to ensure "inclusive development" for Filipinos
during discussions at the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
Economic Leaders Meeting (AELM).
Assistant professor at the De La Salle University and opinion columnist at
Al Jazeera and The Huffington Post, Richard Heydarian, on Wednesday warned
the Philippines against "uncritically" jumping into the APEC's "trading
"As for the Philippines, we have to carefully evaluate the pros and cons of
each of these initiatives and not uncritically jump into any trading
bandwagon," he added. "We have to make sure we come on top and create
inclusive development for our citizens."
Heydarian said that during the leaders' meeting on November 18 and 19, the
United States and China will go head-to-head on the competing free trade
agreements both are pushing for.
The US is pushing for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, which
Heydarian described as "a high-standard trade liberalization scheme aimed at
a more comprehensive overhaul of member economies, greatly benefiting
It is the cornerstone of the Obama administration's economic policy in the
Asia Pacific, with the first round of just-concluded negotiations including
Singapore, Brunei,New Zealand, Chile, Australia, Peru, Vietnam, Malaysia,
Mexico, Canada and Japan.
It aims to deepen trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region, a key
destination for US manufactured goods, agricultural products and services
On the other hand, China will be urging the regional bloc to agree with the
Free Trade Agreements and Regional Trading Agreements (FTAAP), China's
landmark initiative during the APEC summit in Beijing last year.
Heydarian said the FTAAP will be less stringent, "but will heavily benefit
He added that Beijing will also likely invite APEC member economies to look
into its major infrastructure spending initiatives under the Asian
Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and Maritime Silk Road projects.
The Philippines said it is still reviewing the possibility of joining the
AIIB, an initiative by China that is focused on supporting infrastructure
development in the Asia-Pacific region.
The creation of the AIIB, however, happened amid rising tensions between
Beijing and Manila over competing claims in the West Philippine Sea (South
The AELM will be held at the Philippine International Convention Center on
November 18 and 19.
Although there is no complete list yet of leaders who would be attending the
gathering, US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin
have already confirmed their participation.
There is no word yet on the attendance of Chinese President Xi Jinping,
although National Organizing Council (NOC) Director General Ambassador
Marciano Paynor, Jr. said there was no indication any of the 20 leaders will
not be attending the November meeting. (PNA)