LIMA (Peru) – The anti-globalisation movement dominated the first day of talks at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Trade Ministers Conference here Thursday.
International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said the trade ministers spoke on the anti-globalisation scenario.
“As trade ministers, we know how big is the role played by free trade in the global economy in spurring economic growth. So, the matter (anti-globalisation movement) needed to be given attention,” he said.
Mustapa, who is representing Malaysia, was speaking to the Malaysian media covering the conference and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s visit to Peru.
The new phenomenon associated with the anti-globalisation movement is the manifestation of Brexit, followed by Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election, he said.
While admitting that there are weaknesses of globalisation, he said, “Nothing is perfect.”
Citing an example, he said small and medium enterprises (SMEs) were now able to tap into the global network as a result of globalisation.
He said hence, APEC member states should implement more inclusive global policies without marginalising any segment of the society.
The APEC Secretariat should also have a communication plan to disseminate the real situation of globalisation, especially its benefits, he said.
“There should be a balance approach (in the communication plan). Globalisation has merits and demerits.
“It (globalisation) has succeeded in reducing poverty and taken SMEs to the international arena,” he said, adding that Peru had managed to reduced its poverty level as a result of free trade.
APEC, formed in 1989, is a forum for 21 Pacific Rim countries seeking to promote free trade and economic cooperation, and achieve prosperity among member states.
It is made up of Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the US, and Vietnam. – BERNAMA