Seminar on De-Globalisation Sentiments and Risks for ASEAN Economies

This seminar was held at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute to discuss the implications of global developments on ASEAN economies. Click on to read more.

Friday, 28 April 2017 – The ASEAN Studies Centre at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, in collaboration with the ISEAS Regional Economic Studies Programme, invited experts to share their insights on the de-globalisation sentiments and risks for the ASEAN economies at a panel seminar.

Session I: Understanding De-globalisation and Its Impact on ASEAN Economies

Mr. Marcus Bartley Johns, Senior Trade Specialist of the World Bank Singapore, giving an account of the slowdown in international trade and investment, mentioned that one should discuss de-globalisation sentiments from a long-term perspective. ASEAN countries will be affected by the trade slowdown. But economic cooperation like the ASEAN Economic Community and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) hold lot of promises.

Dr. Deborah Elms, Founder and Executive Director of the Asian Trade Centre, highlighted that the anti-trade and anti-immigration sentiments are generally observed in the advanced economies, like the European Union and the US. Asia is still enthusiastic about trade and working hard for an eleven-member Trans-Pacific Partnership deal. The region is also trying to conclude the RCEP negotiations in 2017.

Session II: De-globalisation Sentiments: Views from the Public and Private Sectors

Ms. Mary Elizabeth Chelliah, Principle Trade Specialist, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore, explaining the meaning of anti-globalisation sentiments and protectionism, highlighted that trade institutions like the WTO and the bilateral/ regional trade arrangements have observed many phases of ups and downs in liberalisation effort. National governments have many reasons to be part of trade deals: some may join for economic reason, while others may join for the arrangement’s strategic value. ASEAN countries will have different responses of the current uncertainty around trade, though it is wise on the organisation’s part to approach integration slowly.  

Ms. Priyanka Kishore, Lead Asia Economist of Oxford Economics, Singapore, explained how the private sector is treading the phase of uncertainty in terms of cross-border trade and investment.

Around 100 people, including diplomats, government officials, business leaders, academics and members of the media, attended the event at ISEAS.