Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister said: “The golden age of globalization that we have experienced in the past 30 years since the end of the Cold War is clearly over and we are entering a new era, a new era will be marked by greater geopolitical competition.” and Finance Minister Lawrence Wong.
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The golden era of globalization is over and a fundamental change to the way the world works, says Singapore. Deputy Prime Minister cum Minister of Finance Lawrence Wong.
Wong said during a dialogue at the Forbes Global CEO Conference in Singapore on Monday night, that although countries have not fully retreated from protectionism, businesses are increasingly affected by the stress. political geography.
However, Wong said that Singapore and the rest of ASEAN want a balanced relationship with both the US and China and want the two countries to engage with the region “based on their own interests” rather than through a mausoleum. of the US-China relationship.
“According to the old logic, countries don’t have to be friends to do business with each other,” Wong said.
“Remember the McDonald’s theory that where we have McDonald’s everywhere there won’t be war? Well, that’s history and the end of history.”
“So now a different logic is at play… the golden age of globalization that we have experienced in the last 30 years since the end of the Cold War is clearly over and we are now entering a new era, a new era that will be marked by greater geopolitical competition.”
If those developments were normalized, he said, the world would become more dangerous and more fractured.
Mr. Wong said Singapore will continue to work with both the US and China without taking sides, adding that a possible meeting between the leaders of the two countries is encouraging. .
“With the possibility of a face-to-face meeting, there will be the possibility of establishing a new mode of operation between the two countries, realizing that really, the world is big enough for China and the US and the two countries don’t need Wong. speak.
He warned of the impact such a relationship could have on the perceptions of younger generations in the US and China.
“And if there’s no connection and human-to-human communication going on, it’s very easy to portray the other side as the bad guy, we’re the good guy. And both sides do that.”
“And you have a whole generation of people growing up thinking that way, so what happens 50 years from now, 30 years from now? I think that’s what we should be concerned about.”
Business leaders participating in the discussions at the conference agreed that the growing rift between the US and China is not good for business.
“Look at it from the other side of the mirror,” said Cheah Cheng Hye, co-chairman of Value Partners Group, a Hong Kong-listed fund management firm.
“The generation of Chinese people was born perhaps in the last generations, many of them idealized America and the American way of life. It was a shock to Chinese people these days to be American. rejected and subjected to racism. a lot of disillusionment, a lot of ‘what do we do next’.”
While active participation does not mean that there will be no “hard competition” between the two countries, working together is beneficial, especially when it comes to issues like climate change. and pandemic response, Wong said.
Founding chairman of Avanda Investment Management, former chief investment officer at Singapore’s GIC, Ng Kok Song, said the US and China have benefited from being tied together financially, said during a panel at the conference.
Ng said studies show many US companies in the S&P 500 have benefited from China’s growth in both revenue and size.
Likewise, China has welcomed international capital and financial institutions into its market, John Studzinski, vice president and chief operating officer at US investment management firm Pimco, said in same council.
When asked about a timeline to succeed Singapore’s new prime minister, Mr Wong did not give a specific answer, warning that there are more pressing issues now, such as the high cost of living. , the economy may decline next year and the threat of new spikes from the Covid pandemic.