Singapore to host conference on future of global trade

Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing will deliver the opening keynote address at the conference.
Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing will deliver the opening keynote address at the conference.PHOTO: ST FILE

Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing will deliver the opening keynote address

Will differences between the United States and China over trade abate or widen?

How will trade prosper after the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership - a pact among 11 countries, including Japan, Singapore, Australia and others but minus the US - takes effect on Dec 30?

Will negotiations among the 16 countries involved in discussions to form the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership conclude soon to allow for the formation of the world's largest free trade pact?

Will the menacing increase in diatribe over China's agenda in pushing for the Belt and Road Initiative envelop its potential to connect Europe to Asia? And will the wave of protectionism spread?

With the global trade scenario mired in uncertainties, Asia House, a United Kingdom-based centre of expertise on Asia, is bringing its regional conference to Singapore this year on Nov 22.

It was previously held in Hong Kong and Dubai.

Leading figures in global trade and investment will mull over emerging trends in the trading landscape, during the conference titled Asia Trade In The New Global Order, to be held at the Mandarin Oriental.

The Straits Times is a media partner for the conference.


Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing will deliver the opening keynote address ahead of discussions examining recent changes in policy and technology and their bearing on global trade.

Senior business leaders and thought leaders on trade and technology attending the event include Dr Kai-Fu Lee, the former head of Google China and a leading expert on artificial intelligence and China who founded Sinovation Ventures, a start-up incubator.

Dr Lee will be awarded the Asia House Asian Business Leader 2018 the same evening.

Other speakers include Dr Robert Koopman, chief economist at the World Trade Organisation; Mr Thomas Lembong, chairman of the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board; and Mr Thierry de Longuemar, vice-president and chief financial officer of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

"With global trade facing unprecedented challenges, the need for engagement and open dialogue is more crucial than ever," said Lord Stephen Green, chairman of Asia House.

"Singapore, a global trade hub which is making strides towards becoming a regional leader in innovation, is the perfect location for this important conversation, which will explore how trade policy and new technologies are driving change in the global economy," he noted.

Mr Warren Fernandez, editor-in-chief of Singapore Press Holdings' English/Malay/Tamil Media Group and editor of The Straits Times, said: "In recent weeks, in the face of mounting trade tensions, politicians and pundits have talked about winter coming and how it might be a long one. This forum will allow our readers to glean insights into what this means for them and what the year ahead holds for them too."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 10, 2018, with the headline 'S'pore to host conference on future of global trade'. Print Edition | Subscribe