KUALA LUMPUR: In describing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as vital towards ensuring sustainable growth, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also stressed on the need for peaceful and swift settlement of South China Sea disputes.
Speaking at a press conference after attending the East Asia Economic Summit, Abe drew a picture of the TPP addressing an increasing opaqueness in the world economy with a need to create new economic rules for the 21st century.
He said the rules were based on a need to address issues or barriers to sustainable growth under current economic circumstances by dynamically engaging all citizens through an ecosystem that provides opportunities for everyone.
"Small, medium and micro-sized enterprises with innovative ideas and skill must be able to grow their ideas on a global scale," said Abe.
"They must be engaged dynamically, barriers to growth should be broken and we can push up their growth potential. This will ensure sustainable growth of the economy."
Abe also stressed the importance of the Asean region to Japan's economic growth along with continued bilateral engagement, towards which he had conducted 64 bilateral meetings with leaders of Asean since he took office in 2012.
He said the advancement via the TPP route should be expedited by all partners involved, stating that Japan had agreed in meetings over the past week with leaders of Asean for each to exercise leadership for the expeditious signing of the TPP agreement to go into force.
" In Japan, we will devote our energy towards publicising the effect of TPP on society. This will revitalise the economy in the regions of Japan and for them to understand, we need to formulate a policy outlined in order to remove the worries of the people," said Abe.
Abe also said the TPP agreement would open the Japanese market and bring down trade barriers to traders from the Asean region in sectors such as agriculture, automotive parts and fisheries.
On the South China Sea dispute, Abe said he had held various meetings with leaders of nations involved and urged them to agree on three principles in the handling of disputes.
"Firstly we must agree that claims made should be based on international law. There should also be no use of force or aggression and all countries involved should seek peaceful settlement," said Abe.