Thailand pushes ASEAN trade unity

Cathy Yang, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 14 2017 05:33 PM | Updated as of Jul 14 2017 08:06 PM

Thai Vice Commerce Minister Winichai Chaemchaeng speaks to Cathy Yang for ANC's The Boss. ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Southeast Asian nations should prioritize regional integration over the interests of their individual countries, Thai Vice Commerce Minister Winichai Chaemchaeng said Friday.

Instead of saying "Thailand first," it should be "ASEAN first," Winichai told ANC's "The Boss."

Winichai said he hoped the, Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, ASEAN's free trade mechanism, would be passed this year.

Winichai urged Thai businessmen in the Philippines, particularly in the food and entertainment industries. China and India are Asia's next big markets, he added.

Micro, small and medium enterprises can help drive growth in Southeast Asia as protectionism grips the rest of the world, he said.