Former Singaporean Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong speaks at the conference (Source: http://asia.nikkei.com)
Tokyo (VNA) – Measures to maintain stability and sustainable development in Asia amid the increasing trade protectionism were discussed at the 23rd International Conference on the Future of Asia in Tokyo, which was hosted by Nilkkei Inc of Japan on June 5.

President and CEO of Nilkkei Inc Naotoshi Okada asked how to retain stability and sustainable development in the region and what Asian counties should do to prevent increasing trade protectionism.

He expressed his belief that leaders and experts will discuss the issue straightly.

Meanwhile, former Singaporean Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong warned of the growing sentiment that economic integration in the West is “not Asia’s interest”.

“It is time for Asia to stand up for free and fair trade, reap the full benefits of globalisation, and shape the new global agenda”, he stressed.

He called on China and Japan – the powerful economies in Asia to cooperate in driving economic integration and free trade in the region.

Japan should become the torchbearer in promoting the signing of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement and open for China to join the deal, he said.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is an another multilateral trade institution with the involvement of China, Japan, India, the Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand and the ten ASEAN member nations.

RCEP can become a high-quality agreement by building rules like those under the TPP, he said.

At the conference, ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh affirmed the bloc’s commitment to bolstering globalisation, free trade and regional integration.

Along with RCEP, ASEAN will promote global connection with partners of free trade agreements as well as other nations, he stressed.

ASEAN is seen as the motivation for an open area in the context of the increasing anti-globalisation and free trade trend.-VNA.