Since the depths of the recent global financial crisis, trade has bounced back, with world exports expected to grow by 9.2% in 2010. Yet, the quick recovery masks longer-term trends that were accelerated by the crisis.
This forum will discuss these trends and their implications for the global trading landscape and Singapore.
1. The crisis has hastened the rebalancing between the G3 and emerging economies, particularly the BRICs. How will the “Rise of the Rest" affect patterns of production, consumption, migration and innovation?
2. The production networks of global MNCs increasingly span across countries and regions. Parts and
components, rather than finished products, take up an increasing share of global trade, and this is so even within ASEAN. What does this fragmentation of the production chain mean for ASEAN economic integration?
3. The almost-complete absence of overt protectionism during the economic crisis suggests that countries have moved away from such measures. However, is protectionism truly dead? Are there other forms of protectionism (e.g., in the guise of environmental concerns) and other impediments to trade (e.g., behind-theborder regulatory issues) that we have to guard against?
Mr Ravi Menon was appointed Permanent Secretary at Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry in 2009, after serving two years as Second Permanent Secretary. He leads the ministry’s work in economic strategy and monitoring; industrial development; energy policies; innovation, enterprise, and R&D; international trade policies and agreements; and regional economic integration. Mr Menon was previously Deputy Secretary at the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and Assistant Managing Director at the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
At MOF (2003-2007), Mr Menon was responsible for fiscal policy, tax and expenditure, and government investments and reserves. He oversaw the preparation of the Annual Budget Statements; and led a review of the investment policy of the Singapore Government Investment Corporation.
At MAS (1987-2003), Mr Menon was involved in monetary policy; econometric forecasting; corporate communications; organisational development; banking regulation and liberalisation; and negotiations on financial services under the US-Singapore Free Trade Agreement. Mr Menon spent a year at the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland.
A recipient of the Public Administration Medal (Gold), Mr Menon has served on a variety of public bodies. He was a board member of the Housing and Development Board, Singapore Totalisator Board, Agency for Science, Technology, and Research, Civil Service College, and was formerly Deputy Chairman of the Central Provident Fund Board. He is currently a board member of the National Research Foundation and the Institute of South Asian Studies. He is on the board of directors of DBS Bank, one of the largest financial services groups in Asia; and on the board of trustees of the Singapore Indian Development Association, a self-help volunteer group dedicated to build a strong Singaporean Indian community.
Mr Menon holds a Master's in Public Administration from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Social Science (Honours) in Economics from the National University of Singapore. A two-time winner of the Prime Minster's Book Prize, Mr Menon was a prefect and scout leader at Raffles Institution where he had his secondary/post-secondary education.
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