MANILA- Former President, now Pampanga 2nd district Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said she eyes areas of cooperation between economies amid the trend of protectionism in international trade.
Arroyo stated that despite new protectionist trends, Asia or the East, should move forward with issues that are less prickly given the closer and friendlier relationships of countries in the region.
“I think that given the trade wars that you are talking about, even us we are trying to sort out the difference between the West and the East. I think among us in the East, we should forge ahead because the issues are less contentious and we are closer and more friendly with one another,” she said.
Arroyo joined the Board of Directors of the Boao Forum for Asia which just wrapped up its conference in China.
When asked about the importance of the forum given the new protectionist trends, she added while she is in favor of globalization and open trade, the protectionist trends should have to be understood in the light of the economic, social and political history of each country.
“I am in favor of globalization and open trade but we have to understand also that different countries in the world have different levels of economic, social and political history and therefore each country has to look at globalization in terms of its own history and its own well-being and that is something that we have to consider,” she pointed out.
Arroyo said the Boao Forum will play an even bigger role world economic affairs with China poised to becoming the largest economy in the world.
“The global forum I think is going to be a very important forum, even much more important that it is been in the last 18 years because of the importance of China now in the world economy and the whole world stage," she said.
The Boao Forum for Asia modeled after the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, is aimed at hosting high-level meetings for leaders in government, business and society from all over the world to discuss pressing economic issues.
Arroyo noted that the Boao Forum is an important forum in order for leaders in government, society and business from all over the world who want to engage in Asia to focus on the longer term issues.
“It's a very important time to have this platform to be able to focus on how to deepen the integration within Asia Pacific on the one hand and Europe Africa on the other hand. Especially given the initiative of China in the Belt and Road,” she said.