Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (Source: channelnewsasia)

Hanoi (VNA) - Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on November 12 called on ASEAN member countries to open their market and strengthen integration amidst the increasing protectionism in the world.

Addressing a business forum in Singapore ahead of the 33rd ASEAN Summit, PM Lee suggested that regional businesses invest more in each other’s market, while becoming more open to competition from the outside.

The leader held that the more open and integrated the markets are, the more benefits all parties can enjoy.

ASEAN has great potential, but fully realising it depends on whether the member countries choose to become more integrated, and work resolutely towards this goal in a world where multilateralism is fraying under political pressures, Lee said.

Lee has previously warned that the US-China trade war could have a "big, negative impact" on Singapore, and the city-state's central bank has warned it could soon drag on growth.

In recent months, trade tension between the US and China has escalated as the two sides applied special tax packages on each other. Chinese Ministry of Commerce on September 18 announced that China had filed a lawsuit against the US at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) for Washington’s imposing of a 10 percent tax rate on an amount of goods worth 200 billion USD imported from China, which led to China’s retaliatory application of tax rate equivalent to 60 billion USD on goods imported from the US.-VNA