The Department of International Studies of Miriam College led by IPPS 102 class organized a webinar, “Forum on the Future of the ASEAN Regionalism” with the honorable Assistant Secretary for Industry Development and Trade Policy at the Department of Trade and Industry, Assistant Secretary Allan B. Gepty.
In her opening remarks, Dr. Mel Reyes, Chair of the Department of International Studies stressed the importance of the topic in relation to the current challenges of the region and ASEAN’s critical role in addressing multidimensional issues. The resource speaker focused on ASEAN’s economic integration specifically its context, consideration, and challenges. He began his presentation with a brief lecture on the history and relevant concepts including international law–primarily trade agreement–globalization, and levels of economic integration. Moreover, Atty. Gepty also discussed the fundamental principles of international trade as well as its objectives and challenges. The highlight of Atty. Gepty’s presentation was the discussion of the ASEAN economic community, especially its increasing economic participation in the international market. Numerous economic integration initiatives of ASEAN including RCEP and the ASEAN Economic Community 2025 were also mentioned, showing the goals of ASEAN as a resilient, inclusive, people-oriented, and people-centered regional organization with global impact.
Participants raised very interesting questions and comments, from the Philippines and Myanmar’s status of ratifying the RCEP and its contribution to the Philippines' economic agenda to how countries can utilize or maximize ASEAN integration which can strengthen their trade and also can protect the local businesses of the country.
By: Carey Lacambacal, Leslie Villanueva, Ruth Rajardo and Leanne Novilla