“Strengthening cooperation in Asia” | The star
TOKYO: Asian countries have been urged to play a bigger role in leading a divided world, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has said.
In his opening speech at the Nikkei Conference here, he proposed that Asia should strengthen regional economic integration, cooperation and consultation mechanisms, as well as cooperation to address the challenges of climate change.
“These are among the things that can be paid attention to in order to offer solutions to global problems and at the same time, strengthen multilateral cooperation among Asian countries,” he said during his first appearance at the International Conference. on the future of Asia with the theme “Redefining Asia’s role in a divided world”, Bernama reported.
Ismail Sabri said the key to boosting regional economic integration is to focus on building the Asian region’s capacity to cope with the changes of globalization after the Covid-19 pandemic.
With globalization now on the wane, he urged policymakers, as well as business leaders, in Asia to step up efforts to strengthen regional cooperation to ensure sustainable economic growth.
He said efforts should also be made to make the regional supply chain more resilient by supporting investments in digital infrastructure and facilitating capacity development efforts to improve the local supply chain.
According to Ismail Sabri, Asia is well positioned to dominate the world’s largest e-commerce market, at 57% or US$1.1 trillion (RM4.8 trillion) of the value of global commerce sales. electronics in 2019 and is expected to reach 61% or US$1.9 trillion (RM8.3 trillion) by 2024.
On the importance of strengthening cooperation and consultation mechanisms, Ismail Sabri said that Malaysia recognizes the importance of consultation, either at the Southeast Asian level or within Malaysia itself, to find solutions. common challenges or differences.
This is done through Asean mechanisms such as the Asean Regional Forum, the Asean Plus Three Meeting and the Asean Plus Defense Ministers Meeting, he added.
Ismail Sabri said that in an effort to strengthen Asia’s role through regional cooperation mechanisms, ASEAN member countries should be careful in responding to existing and new issues.
“There is no need for a new framework; instead, the existing platform can be used for this purpose,” he added.
Regarding climate change, Ismail Sabri said that Asia, particularly Southeast Asia, was the region most vulnerable to its effects.
In 2021, he said, more than 57 million people were affected by climate change-related disasters in the Asia-Pacific region and by 2050 much of Asia is expected to face rising extreme temperatures, rainfall and heat waves, which will wreak havoc on the economy and society.
“The climate change crisis is a global problem and no country can tackle it alone,” he said, adding that for developing countries it was very worrying because the cost and the capacity needed to face would erode resources to create economic opportunity for the world. people.
He said Malaysia is committed to working with countries with a vision to tackle climate change, and described the “Asian Zero Emission Community” inspired by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida as a good starting point.