Hanoi (VNA)Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte called for global cooperation in the COVID-19 fight at the the Future of Asia Conference held virtually on May 21, underlining the need for equal access to COVID-19 vaccines.

He held that without fostering global collaboration in the work, the de-globalisation process will lead to the loss of trade opportunities to developing countries.

Duterte affirmed that the country will not take sides in the ongoing "big power competition" and urged large countries not to pursue dominance to the detriment of smaller ones, referring to the US and China.
"Great powers must resist the temptation to pursue interests at the expense of smaller countries, in plain defiance of international law," Duterte said, adding that "the pandemic has shown us that zero-sum approaches are self-defeating and ultimately futile. What hurts one ends up hurting everyone else."

The Future of Asia is an international gathering where political, economic and academic leaders from the Asia-Pacific region offer their opinions frankly and freely on regional issues and the role of Asia in the world. Held by Nikkei every year since 1995 (excepting for 2020 due to the COVID       -19 pandemic), it is considered one of the most important global conferences in Asia.

This year, the event has been held online with the participation of many Asian leaders, including Lao President Thongloun Sisoulith, Cambodian PM Campuchia Samdech Techo Hun Sen, Malaysian PM Muhyiddin Yassin, Thai PM Prayut Chan-ocha, Singapore Deputy PM and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies Heng Swee Keat, and Vietnamese PM Pham Minh Chinh.

During the two-day conference, participants shared opinions on how Asia enters a new era amid current great instability./.