Singapore will not take sides in geopolitical conflicts, but will uphold the rule of law, Education Minister Chan Chung-sing said in a speech at the Morgan Stanley Asia-Pacific Summit in Singapore on Wednesday.
He said the world must remain interdependent regardless of the pressure to disintegrate, because any kind of rupture would leave individual countries “insufficient” and hurt them economically.
“Interdependence carries risks, but a less interdependent and fragmented world, where people and large nations believe they can strengthen their security and indirectly make another country more vulnerable, cannot be mutually beneficial,” Chan said.
Singapore’s Education Minister Chan Chung Sing (pictured in 2019) said: “Global businesses need to speak up and speak up. You want a united world, not a divided one.”
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“It’s important to remember that a more interconnected world is a safer world. But today, because of domestic and global pressures, there is a temptation to think that if the world were to split, it would split into two different blocs, and each of the different blocs would split into different blocs. be safer.”
Chan says that if fragmentation continues, countries and companies will perform less than optimally “rather than enjoying the rapid growth of the past 50 years based on a globally integrated system.”
Now, the rules-based international security system and trade order are once again “under pressure” and cannot be “taken for granted,” he said, citing the example of the Cold War.
He cited Russia’s war in Ukraine and the dispute settlement crisis at the World Trade Organization as some of the cracks in the system.
Speaking directly to entrepreneurs and investors at an investment conference, Chan called for global integration.
“Businesses around the world need to speak up and be heard. You want a united world, not a divided one,” Chan said.
He said Singapore would also play its part by bridging the divided blocs and “working together”.
“We believe in connectivity, stability, progress, integration, and trust to the next level,” Chan added.
The rift is starting to weigh on global economic stability, Morgan Stanley Investment Management said in a separate note on Wednesday.
For example, slowing globalization and disrupted supply chains are fueling inflation, said Andrew Harmstone, the firm’s senior portfolio manager.
“In terms of GDP, world trade has been growing very fast in the past, which has kept inflation at very low levels. But the trend to increase again is to reduce trade,” he said.
According to the Hinrich Foundation, other countries, such as the United States and Japan, have added terms such as “friendship” to their trade policy dictionaries, but haven’t figured out what they mean.
“If governments seek to intervene in supply chains, they should watch more risks than firms. But it is unclear what market failures pro-friendliness policies will correct without further unraveling the global trading system.” Halit Harput, author of the Hinrich Report, said.
“The best guarantee” for the existence of a small country
Chan said Singapore would remain neutral but take a firm stand.
“In recent months, when Russia moved into Ukraine, we opposed it. Is it a pro-US move, people? Or is it an anti-Russian move or an anti-Chinese move? Neither. When the US moves into Grenada, we oppose it when the USSR moves into Afghanistan. ” said Chan.
We believe that the rule of law, especially in the international arena, is the best guarantee for the survival of a small country.
“This is not just for Singapore, but I would suggest that it is for all ASEAN countries.”
While U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping exchanged positive words during Monday’s Group of 20 meeting, it is important to watch for follow-up action, Chan said.