FULL TRANSCRIPT: Duterte’s opening remarks at 20th ASEAN Plus Three Commemorative Summit

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Pres. Rodrigo Duterte delivers his speech during the opening ceremony of the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit on Nov. 13, 2017. — PPD

Let me begin by saying to you…

Your Excellencies of ASEAN and the People’s Republic of China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea; His Excellency Le Luong Minh, Secretary General of ASEAN; ladies and gentlemen.

It is my pleasure to welcome you all to Manila for the celebration of the 20th ASEAN Plus Three Commemorative Summit.

Special warm welcome, of course, for our newest member, President Moon Jae-in.

Over the past two decades, our cooperation continued to flourish steadily among the ASEAN external partners’ cooperation.

We owe a great measure of our success to our common bond and vision.

But most of all, sharing common traits and values that are deeply embedded in our customs and traditions that help us develop a culture of tolerance and understanding among us, providing a space for positive dialogue.

I urge my fellow leaders to continue nurturing peaceful co-existence, particularly within the ASEAN Plus Three, where we consider ourselves as one and a family.

May I — I thank you, Mr… May I invite the Prime… the Premier Li Keqiang of the People’s Republic of China for his opening remarks. Then to be followed by the Prime Minister of Japan.

PREMIER LI KEQIANG (CHINA): President Duterte, dear colleagues, I am very pleased to attend the 20th APT Summit. On behalf of the Chinese government, I’d like to thank the Philippine government for your thoughtful arrangement for the Summit.

APT Cooperation emerged when Asian countries jointly responded to the financial crisis. This year marks its 20th anniversary.

Twenty years ago, this [inaudible] played a vital role in responding to the financial crisis in Southeast Asia. We need to carry forward this fine tradition.

At the moment, the world economy is showing good momentum. The global trade and investments are increasing.

China-Japan and China-ROK relations are seeing signs of improvement. All these have presented new opportunities for APT Cooperation.

Meanwhile, we are still seeing a mixed picture of world economic recovery. The globalization and protectionism are on the rise.

[unclear] regional issues are emerging and these have presented challenges to us.

I hope that through this Summit, we can build consensus and send a positive signal that we firmly support regional integration and advance East Asia Economic Community or EAEC so as to benefit the people and the country in the region. Thank you.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Now, may I invite Prime Minister Abe to deliver his opening statement. You have the floor, Your Excellency.

PRIME MINISTER SHINZO ABE (JAPAN): I’m deeply grateful for the warm hospitality extended to me by President Duterte and the Government of the Philippines.

I am honored to be able to participate in the ASEAN Plus Three Summit as co-chair.

This year is an important year being the 20th anniversary of the launch of the ASEAN Plus Three.

The APT was established as a result of the 1997 Asian Currency Crisis. And since then, the scope of cooperation was broadened to include food security, energy, environment, and health, among others.

I welcome the fact that this year, the Manila Declaration on the 20th anniversary of APT Cooperation was agreed and at the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in August, the APT Cooperation Work Plan 2018 to 2022 was adopted.

In the midst of concerns about the rise of protectionism and inward looking orientation in the world, in order to enhance predictability of the economies of the region and the world, to mitigate vulnerabilities and to maintain and strengthen the free trading system, the significance of financial cooperation between the ASEAN Plus Three becomes increasingly greater.

From such a prospective, it is important to further strengthen the functions of the Chiang Mai Initiative and the ASEAN Plus Three Macro Economic Research Office.

From this prospective, we will continue to make efforts to make the research office in existence that is trusted even more by the international community.

Furthermore, with regard to food security for which practical cooperation is underway, the adoption of the statement on APT Cooperation on Food Security proposed by China is of significance in this year of the 20th anniversary.

Japan will supply rice to Laos and Myanmar again this year through the APT emergency rice reserve agreement.

Recently, assistance to the refugees of the island of Mindanao was to be provided and it has been decided that the reserved rice which Japan supplied will be drawn down and to be provided to Iligan City and the surrounding areas.

Incidentally, it has been over six years since the Great Eastern Japan earthquake.

I strongly request that input controls on Japanese food stuffs be lifted based on scientific grounds.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Thank you, Prime Minister Abe.

May I call on President Moon Jae-in to deliver his opening remarks.

PRESIDENT MOON JAE-IN (SOUTH KOREA): President Duterte, colleagues, it is an honor to attend the ASEAN Plus Three meeting as it celebrates the 20th anniversary this year.

I’m very happy to be attending here with the 10 ASEAN leaders, Prime Minster Abe, and Premier Li Keqiang. I am delighted to share the vision of East Asia Regional Cooperation with these leaders.

Twenty years ago, we’re hit hard by the Asian Financial Crisis and we came together for the joint cooperation, which prompted as a result of solidarity and cooperation that shined from the depths of the crisis.

ASEAN, Korea, Japan, and China, the 13 countries have grown into economies that account for more than 30 percent of the global economy.

Such a collective experience of overcoming the crisis remains valuable heritage to us. Now, we must take ourselves to a new level to realize cooperative mechanism that provides protection and care to the lives of our members in the region.

In 1999, we have utilized the power of solidarity and overcame the financial crisis. Let us create a vision for the East Asian community of peace, prosperity, and progress.

Let us overcome the complex challenges, including protectionist and self-centered approaches, [inaudible], aging, and climate change.

I welcome the adoptions of the Manila Declaration which proposed the future direction of ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation.

I look forward to reaffirming refining the visions of the East Asian community and our resolve for cooperation within.

Thank you.