Five major challenges for APEC members

Deputy Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry Liew Chin Tong outlined five major challenges for Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) members during his intervention session at the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting.

“We are now in a different era from when APEC started in the early 1990s. Then the world was a lot more optimistic and more ready to cooperate with each other. The world now facing many challenges, including but not exclusively the 5 major challenges:

  1. The wealth gap between the developed and developing countries still persists
  2. The disappearing middle class in the developed countries and the stagnated middle class in the developing world
  3. Climate change challenge
  4. Use of high technology which generate wealth but also removes jobs, and how do we create meaningful jobs for these people
  5. Financial upheaval including a high interest rate environment.”

He said this at the APEC meet that is currently held in Arequipa, Peru.

Liew added that while job creation with good pay is an important agenda, it is also crucial for different countries to have a complementary, secure and integrated supply chain among the trading nations.

“It is also crucial to work on a collective industrial policy between different countries so that we do not form a competitive relationship where every nation tries to export more to others and import less. Instead, as much as we could, we should from a complementary, secure and integrated supply chain among us.

He added that the industrial policies ought to be problem solving so that all countries can pursue them.

“The industrial policy that can be pursued together among nations should be “problem-solving” in orientation, such as building manufacturing capacity across nations to solve the climate change challenge.”

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