President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday lamented the damage caused by globalization on poor economies such as the Philippines and urged Asian countries to take remedial steps to end their exploitation.
To reverse the brain drain, Duterte stressed the need for “remedial measures,” adding this should be tackled by other Asian countries.
In his speech during the 2017 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit in Da Nang, Vietnam, Duterte said that globalization “to a certain extent has really damaged poor economies.”
“Globalization, by itself, is the deprivation of some, those that we call ‘left behind’. There has to be some remedial measures. It includes one democratic movement. Some of the bright boys in one country are really exploited to go to another country,” he said
“It therefore, behooves upon us really to help the others develop their own capacity-building. Unless it is done, they will remain where they are. And the rich would become richer, and the poor would become poorer,” he add-ed.
He said skilled Filipinos have left the Philippines to find jobs in richer countries.
“All the plumbers, all the electricians, they have the masters certificate of a trade, are in the Middle East. And so the Philippines is having a boom in real estate, but yet it has to find the workers. And that leaves us behind be-cause then you have to scrape the bottom to find out who can work with us,” he said. “These are the effects of globalization.”
More than 10 million Filipinos work overseas, around 10 percent of the population, remitting billions of dollars back to the country each year.
Duterte acknowledged Donald Trump’s complaints that globalization has also sent American manufacturing jobs to cheaper countries such as China.
“America was the first victim of globalization. And that is why Trump is trying to lure them back and set America first. And if you take a look at it actually this is what happened,” the President added.
“When Deng Xiaoping opened the door of China to foreign investments, a lot of American companies to which President Trump is now talking about, left America for a cheaper and a more viable business, lower taxes. And then it came to pass that most of the big business were doing their actual business in China,” he said.
He urged the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to speed up economic integration to power the region up the manufacturing chain, retain its skilled workers and educate those “left behind.”
“Hopefully, next week, when I go home, we’ll start the discussions again. I will bring this matter forcefully in the Asean Summit. We have to have integration, cohesiveness, and we must act as one. Europe can do it with its union and America is starting to revive its industries. Why can’t we, the Asean, do it?” he said. “We only provide the raw materials. We send it to the improved countries, the industrialized countries, and we get the finished product. That’s the essence of how we can sort out this thing that we export the raw materials, then we import them again into finished products, but four times the cost of what our raw materials are valued.”
Globalization and the rules of trade are under the microscope in Vietnam this week, where world leaders including Trump, China’s Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin are set to converge from Friday for the APEC summit.