Philippines calls on ASEAN to enhance economic integration hinh anh 1Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) -
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte called on the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to enhance economic integration to counter protectionism and global trade tensions while addressing the 35th ASEAN Summit in Bangkok, Thailand, on November 3.

He warned that protectionism and global trade tensions are undermining the development of the ASEAN economies, including the Philippines.

The ASEAN needs an open and rules-based trading system to sustain growth, he said, adding that the bloc should respect the significance and effectiveness of the World Trade Organisation.

He suggested accelerating deeper economic integration through concrete programmes and projects such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

The President also called on the ASEAN to ensure environmental sustainability and protect biodiversity.

The ASEAN should not sacrifice the environment and the region's rich biodiversity, particularly in the maritime domain, in its quest for development progress, he said.

The ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

The RCEP, initiated by ASEAN in 2012, is a proposed regional free trade agreement between 10 ASEAN member nations and the bloc’s six trading partners - China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand and India./.