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Dark mood overshadows Singapore’s economic view

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23 Feb Dark mood overshadows Singapore’s economic view

SIIA Executive Director Nicholas Fang was quoted in the Nikkei Asian Review in an article by Peter Guest on the recent report by the Committee on the Future Economy. An excerpt is below. The full article is available on Nikkei Asian Review.

“There seems to be a dark undertone that runs throughout the report, warning of difficult times to come,” said Nicholas Fang, executive director of the Singapore Institute for International Affairs, a think tank in the city-state.

The U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union in June 2016 was in part a reflection of brewing anti-globalization sentiment in developed countries, fueled by unemployment in former industrial heartlands, that metastasized into a full-throated roar against the established international order. In November, that same anger helped to propel U.S. President Donald Trump, and his manifesto based on economic nationalism, into the White House.

Fang is optimistic that the new U.S. administration will turn out to be focused in its trade spats, rather than beginning a broad offensive against the mechanisms of global trade.

“He’s made some disparaging comments about the [World Trade Organization], but I don’t think he’s going to dismantle it,” Fang said. “Rather, he’s more focused on protecting specific sectors [such as] automotive manufacturing … or in certain instances he’s been saying [he wants] to protect the economy against certain specific trade partners, like China. I think Singapore’s [trade agreement] with the U.S. is a long-standing arrangement, and it’s one in which the U.S. actually has a surplus, so I doubt he would look at it unfavorably.”

Full Article: Dark mood overshadows Singapore’s economic view [Nikkei Asian Review, 23 Feb 2017]