Together with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría, and ASEAN ministers, DTI Secretary Gregory L. Domingo launched the OECD Southeast Asia Regional Program (SEARP) at the sidelines of the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting (MCM) at the OECD Headquarters in Paris.
The SEARP aims to strengthen the OECD’s engagement with Southeast Asia with a view to supporting the regional integration process and the ASEAN Economic Community by 2015.
The Program intends to achieve this through the exchange of good practices and mutual learning between policy makers in Southeast Asia and OECD countries in six priority areas: education and skills, connectivity, SMEs, investment, tax, and regulatory reform.
In his remarks, Secretary Domingo welcomed the theme of the 2014 MCM – “resilient economies for inclusive societies” – which echoed the platform of the Aquino Administration.
“For the Philippines, our human resources are at the heart of our competitive advantage, and developing their education and skills is a priority for us,” according to Secretary Domingo.
“We believe that the best way to achieve inclusive growth is by providing our people universal access to world-class skills training and education. Together with the rest of ASEAN, the Philippines will actively engage OECD and its members towards realizing our shared aspiration for economic development that is genuinely inclusive,” the Secretary added.
The other ASEAN ministers present were Mr. Sun Chanthol, Cambodian Minister of Commerce; Dr. Muhamad Chatib Basri, Indonesian Minister of Finance; Dr. Thongloun Sisoulith, Lao Deputy Prime Minister; Dr. Kan Zaw, Myanmar Minister of National Planning and Economic Development; and Mr. Surapong Tovichakchaikul, Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs.
DTI Secretary Domingo (front row, first from the right) with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría and the ASEAN ministers
DTI Secretary Domingo delivers his remarks at the launching of the OECD Southeast Asia Regional Program