Netizen 24 SGP: Greater, freer trade key to region's prosperity: PM Lee

Greater, freer trade key to region's prosperity: PM Lee Skip to main content ...

Greater, freer trade key to region's prosperity: PM Lee

Skip to main content
PM Lee Hsien Loong and New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern at a group photo for leaders yesterday. With them are (from left) Japanese PM Shinzo Abe, South Korean President Moon Jae In (partly hidden) and Malaysian PM Najib Razak.
Published2 hours ago

Apec members agree on closer economic integration, but differ on way to proceed

The mood towards globalisation is shifting, and there are concerns about whether the current trade system is fair for all to benefit from as they ought to, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said yesterday.

But global trade has allowed many countries to prosper, he told fellow Asia-Paci fic Economic Cooperation (Apec) leaders, saying he firmly believes "we should foster more and freer trade to continue to prosper".

He also reiterated Singapore's support for the rules-based multilateral trading system, saying it has brought economies closer together and allowed open dialogue on issues like sustainable development.

At the end of the two-day Apec Summit yesterday, leaders of its 21 economies agreed to ensure a level playing field by pursuing open markets and fighting protectionism, including all unfair trade practices.

A day earlier, leaders of the two largest economies had put forward different visions of trade. United States President Donald Trump said he would pursue fair deals that put America first, while Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged support for multilateral deals and to push for more inclusive globalisation.

PM Lee on the difference in the US and China's trade vision

Asked for his assessment at an interview with the Singapore media, Mr Lee said all Apec members agree on wanting to promote closer economic integration with mutual benefits, but had different views on how this should be done.

While the US wants to work bilaterally on a reciprocal basis, other members want to keep to a multilateral framework "which in the view of many of us has benefited all our countries, including the US".

But Mr Lee said members understood the political pressures and reasons behind the US administration's stance and still hoped to work together with the US, as well as like-minded countries.

"It does not mean there is a consensus. It does not mean there is no conflict in perspectives, or no tension. There is, but we hope we will be able to work through them and maintain the cooperation that has delivered peace, stability and prosperity to m any countries for a very long time," he said.

In an earlier speech to Apec leaders, Mr Lee said being plugged in to the wider global market brings economies of scale, and no single country can be self-sufficient in today's world. Even then, there is still some way to go towards the ideal of fully open trade in the region.

Citing the World Trade Organisation (WTO), which Mr Trump had criticised a day earlier for turning a blind eye to unfair trade practices, Mr Lee said it was an important forum for improving the global framework for trade.

But it takes time for all 164 WTO members to reach a deal, "so we have to explore less comprehensive but more timely measures", he said.

He called for support for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership that Asean's 10 members are negotiating with six others, including China, Japan and India. At the same time, the remaining members of the Trans-Pacific Partn ership deal were also pushing ahead to bring the pact into force.

Mr Lee also said developments such as China's Belt and Road Initiative, which includes many economies across Asia and Europe, will also promote greater connectivity, infrastructure investment and economic integration.

Apec, too, is a measure for promoting trade, he said, noting that the grouping had come a long way from its early days as an informal gathering of 12 economies in 1989 formed to liberalise trade across the region.

Tariffs in Apec today are a third of what they were then, and Apec economies represent 60 per cent of global gross domestic product and half of global trade. He also commended Vietnam, this year's Apec chair, for kick-starting a process to review goals set in Bogor, Indonesia, in 1994, for free and open trade and investment across the region by 2020. "As we approach 2020 for the Bogor goals, it is timely to reflect on the aspirations of Apec for the longer te rm," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 12, 2017, with the headline 'Greater, freer trade key to region's prosperity: PM Lee'. Print Edition | Subscribe Topics:
  • APEC
  • LEE HSIEN LOONG

BrandInsider

Sponsored Content

lunch_300x200.jpg

Five award-winning restaurants for business lunch

posb2_300x200.jpg

Expecting mums: 5 ways to show yourself some love

shangri-la_2017may27_354x235_small.jpg

Rejuvenate yourself at Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore’s new Tower Wing

We have been experiencing some problems with subscriber log-ins and apologise for the inconvenience caused. Until we resolve the issues, subscribers need not log in to access ST Digital articles. But a log-in is still required for our PDFs.

Source: Google News

COMMENTS

Name

Accessory,1,Apartment,1,Application,1,Automotive,3,Bank,1,Beauty,2,Board,1,Breakfast,2,Budget Living,1,Building,1,Business,2,Car Accessory,2,Car part,1,Car Shop,1,Celebrity,4,Cloth accessory,1,Cooking,1,Cover,2,Deals,1,Design,3,Digital Life,1,Dinner,1,Dish Review,2,DIY Projects,3,Economy,2,Education,2,Engine,1,Entertainment,1,Expert Advices,2,Fashion,2,Financial,1,Food,3,Football,1,Games,1,Gossip,1,Heath,1,Hotels,1,House,2,Individual,1,Inspiration,2,Latin,1,Lifestyle,6,Live Show,1,Love,1,Lunch,2,Model,1,Music,2,Nutrition,1,Olympic,1,Politics,1,Pop Shop,1,Rock,1,Sports,1,Startup,1,Stock,1,Tech Review,1,Tech Tips,1,Technology,2,Tennis,1,Tone Set,1,Travel,1,Trip Ideas,1,Vogue,1,Weather,1,Wedding,1,World,3,
ltr
item
Netizen 24 Singapore: Netizen 24 SGP: Greater, freer trade key to region's prosperity: PM Lee
Netizen 24 SGP: Greater, freer trade key to region's prosperity: PM Lee
https://static.straitstimes.com.sg/sites/default/files/styles/medium/public/advertorials/2017/11/06/lunch_300x200_1.jpg?itok=GuHYUPEk
Netizen 24 Singapore
http://www.singapore.netizen24.com/2017/11/netizen-24-sgp-greater-freer-trade-key.html
http://www.singapore.netizen24.com/
http://www.singapore.netizen24.com/
http://www.singapore.netizen24.com/2017/11/netizen-24-sgp-greater-freer-trade-key.html
true
3409072178432431747
UTF-8
Loaded All Posts Not found any posts VIEW ALL Readmore Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS CONTENT IS PREMIUM Please share to unlock Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy