Thursday, December 4, 2014

6 international economics experts due for roundtable discussion on ASEAN integration

CABANATUAN CITY, Nueva Ecija–Six economic experts from the international and domestic scene, including economic professors from Australia, Germany and Singapore, will grace the roundtable discussion on the upcoming Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) economic integration today.

The economic experts include Dr. Jayant Menon, lead economist of the Office for Regional Economic Integration of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Dr. Bob Gregory, professor emeritus of the Research School of Economics at the Australian National University, Dr. John Dosch, chair of international politics at the University of Rostock in Germany, Dr. Pushpanathan Sundram, managing director of EAS Strategic Advice-Asia and senior fellow at the Singapore Institute of International Affairs.

          Entitled “ASEAN Integration: Challenges and Changes in the Coming Decade,” the roundtable forum, the first such forum initiated by a private sector-led think tank, is hosted by the Angara Centre for Law and Economics (ACLE) and co-convener Metrobank Foundation. It will open at 8 am today at the Hotel Intercontinental in Makati City and end at 4:30 pm.

Dr. Emerlinda Roman, chair of the ACLE board and former president of the University of the Philippines, said the event will give an update on the region’s progress in creating the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and pertinent issues affecting the country.

Roman said the integration is the most pressing economic issue of the day. “We will have been integrated into the AEC by the end of next year and we need to know if we are prepared as an economy for the changes and the increased competition this entails. And if we are not, we need to know the right steps to take to do so,” she said.

          “What does this mean to our banks, our businesses, our BPO industry and our farmers? “This is why we’re taking the brightest minds from around the world and connecting them to the relevant people here.”

Socio-economic planning Secretary and National Economic and Development Authority director-general Arsenio Balisan will deliver the keynote speech in the event which presentations will kick off with “The ASEAN Economic Community: State of Implementation and Implications for the Philippines” by Dosch.

          Menon will present the topic “Will ASEAN realize its community?”, while Gregory will discuss “Relevant and Sensible Policies for Responding to the China Boom.”

          Sundram will discuss “Public-Private Partnership and the Institutional Development of ASEAN” while Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Deputy Governor Nestor Espenilla will in turn discuss the pressing issue of preparing the Philippine banking system for economic integration.

          Also expected to grace the event are Philippine Stock Exchange President and CEO Hans Sicat, and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Assistant Secretary for Industry Development and Trade Policy Perry Rodolfo, who will serve as reactors at the roundtable.

          The ACLE is the country’s first private-sector law, regulation, and economic policy think-tank, where the country’s best intellectuals will work in tandem with global economic and legal experts to design constructive policy reforms and institutions for Philippine development. (Manny Galvez)

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