Philippines’ Duterte laments Southeast Asia brain drain due to globalization

More than 10 million Filipinos work overseas, around 10 percent of the population, remitting billions of dollars back to the country each year. (Reuters)
Updated 09 November 2017
0

Philippines’ Duterte laments Southeast Asia brain drain due to globalization

DANANG, Vietnam: Globalization has pressed the brightest workers from poor Southeast Asian countries to move overseas in a brain drain that must be reversed if real development is to be achieved, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Thursday.
In an impassioned appeal by a leader better known for expletive-flecked outbursts, Duterte said the efforts of poorer countries to rise up the value chain are being undercut by mass migration of skilled workers.
“Globalization to a certain extent has really damaged poor economies,” he said in a speech to CEOs gathered in Danang, Vietnam, ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.
By way of example he said, “the best of our young (Filipinos)... tend to go to the places where the economy is thriving,” such as the United States.
More than 10 million Filipinos work overseas, around 10 percent of the population, remitting billions of dollars back to the country each year.
He acknowledged Donald Trump’s complaints that globalization has also sent American manufacturing jobs to cheaper countries such as China.
But Duterte said poorer nations faced the hardest edge of global commerce as they are stripped of labor and raw materials to fuel a world economy they can not compete in.
He urged ASEAN — the 10-member Southeast Asian bloc of nations — to speed up economic integration to power the region up the manufacturing chain, retain its skilled workers and educate those “left behind.”
“We only provide the raw materials” which are then sent back by richer manufacturing countries for “four times the price,” he said, adding “that is globalization.”
He vowed to “forcefully” carry the message of unity to the ASEAN summit which he is hosting in Manila from Monday.
Globalization and the rules of trade are under the microscope in Vietnam this week, where world leaders including Trump, China’s Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin are set to converge from Friday for the APEC summit.


France, Saudi Arabia to hold Yemen humanitarian conference end June

Updated 24 May 2018
0

France, Saudi Arabia to hold Yemen humanitarian conference end June

  • France and Saudi Arabia will co-host an international conference on Yemen in Paris
  • More than 10,000 people have been killed in a war that has displaced 3 million internally

PARIS: France and Saudi Arabia will co-host an international conference on Yemen in Paris in June to assess humanitarian needs for the country and possibly contribute to reviving U.N.-backed peace talks.
A Saudi-led coalition backed by the West has carried out air strikes against the armed Houthi movement in a war since 2015 to restore the internationally recognised government.
More than 10,000 people have been killed in a war that has displaced 3 million internally and unleashed the world's worst humanitarian crisis, the UN says.
"We are currently working on how to organise this conference with our various partners, Yemen and the United Nations," France's foreign ministry spokeswoman Agnes von der Muhll told reporters in a daily briefing on Wednesday.
"This conference should take stock of humanitarian needs, evaluate the assistance provided and the response mechanisms which need to be improved and define humanitarian actions to improve the situation of civilian populations."
The French president's office said the conference would take place at the end of June. A source aware of the plans said it was scheduled for June 27.
Von der Muhll declined to say whether Paris intended to invite representatives of the Iran-aligned Houthis.
"This work, which we want to be collective, can help to recreate the conditions for a resumption of political discussions under the auspices of the United nations," Von der Muhll said in a statement on Tuesday.
It is unclear how this would fit into the UN Yemen mediator Martin Griffiths' efforts. He said in April he wanted to present a plan for negotiations within two months to end the conflict, but warned that any new military offensives could "take peace off the table."
Three rounds of UN-backed peace talks between the Houthis and the Yemeni government, with the last held in Kuwait in August 2016, ended without success. Griffiths began his term in March in a bid by the U.N. to revive the stalled peace process.