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ASEAN Secretary-General Le Luong Minh says governments need to communicate better to stem the tide of isolationism.

Threats to free trade 'cannot be taken lightly,' ASEAN chief warns

Secretary-General Le Luong Minh insists bloc will remain 'beacon' of openness

KENTARO IWAMOTO, Nikkei staff writer | China

TOKYO -- The chief of Southeast Asia's regional bloc on Monday pushed back against the emerging anti-globalization mood, stressing a commitment to continued economic integration and open trade.

Le Luong Minh, a veteran Vietnamese diplomat who became secretary-general of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in 2013, was speaking to the annual Future of Asia conference in Tokyo. "What stands out the most from the current phenomenon is that globalization is now under threat" from those that used to be its strongest proponents, Minh said. "For a region so deeply embedded in global value chains, a threat to globalization and free trade cannot be taken lightly."

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