Duterte: Development assistance must not foster dependence
BEIJING- President Rodrigo Duterte has called on fellow leaders to redefine international cooperation to ensure that any development assistance won’t foster dependence and instead be a catalyst for sustainable growth.
“We must remember: development assistance must be used as a genuine tool to bring about positive change in the lives of our peoples. And it must be a purposive decision of partner-states, taking into account mutual respect and mutual interests,” Mr. Duterte said in a speech delivered at a high-level session of the Belt and Road Forum.
The Belt and Road Forum is an opportunity to redefine official development assistance so that it could be a key to sustained growth, the Philippine leader said.
“Development assistance should build on capacities of nations. It should never foster dependence,” Mr. Duterte said.
“It should be based on reciprocal benefits, motivated by a keen interest in partner states to bring about real progress,” he said. “This should be the new normal. And it is in our interest to work together to make this a reality.”
Mr. Duterte is among the 37 heads of state in town to participate in China’s Belt and Road Forum, which supports an aggressive infrastructure-building agenda.
Since rekindling diplomatic relations with China in 2016 when he became president, the Philippines has started to attract big-ticket infrastructure funding from China.
During this session, Mr. Duterte reaffirmed the Philippines’ commitment to the collective vision of common prosperity through cooperation on the basis of mutual respect and as equal sovereign states.