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.