MANILA - Vice President Leni Robredo on Tuesday pushed for inclusivity, as Southeast Asian leaders converged in the Philippines to discuss trade and investments.
Micro, small and medium enterprises should not be limited to the "little boy's room" while businesses should empower farmers and fishermen, Robredo said.
The problem of inclusivity is everyone’s job now, because inequality has turned the world’s poor into angry consumers," she told the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit.
"Whatever we achieve on the negotiating table must be felt by those who have been left behind by globalization and progress," she said.
While ASEAN is known for fostering dialogue, Robredo said: "For each action point that we reach by consensus, lives must be changed. The metrics for our success must be better lives, not just well-written documents."
The Vice President underscored the need to spread the wealth after Islamic State-inspired extremists engaged the army in a 5-month long battle in Marawi City.
Violence in the south, "reminds us that desperation provides terrorists fertile ground for recruitment of our youth," she said.