On 21 November at 3pm, The third edition of the "APEC Experts Forum", organised by the APEC Institute of Business, was successfully broadcasted on Phoenix Education. This webinar was delivered by Professor Yang Jianwei from the National University of Singapore, APEC Institute of Business and Chongqing University, who gave a insightful interpretation and sharing on the development trends and possible changes of the global industrial chain. The webinar was also co-hosted by Dr Li Mingjiang, Associate Professor at S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies.
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 has brought about unprecedented challenges to the global political and economic landscape. Currently, the global industrial chain has been facing dramatic turbulences and changes, particularly the trade war between China and the US. The battle between the two major powers combined with the COVID-19 pandemic have led to a further acceleration of the restructuring of the global industrial chain, which will have a continuous and far-reaching impact on the world. As a result, this webinar on the impact and changes of the global industrial chain received great attention from the general audience. In just over an hour of the live event, the number of viewers reached 273,000.
Professor Yang began by talking about the recently US elections. He pointed out that in the past four years, US and the world have experienced a different kind of American president: anti-establishment, anti-elite, anti-globalisation, anti-liberalism, anti-political correctness and anti-allies. Trump is a different kind of president, one who had actually brought about the decline of America despite his campaign slogan of "Make America Great Again".
The disorder and chaos that has emerged from the US elections, a situation that is also rare in the history of the United States, has had a significant impact on the United States itself. President Trump has torn apart not only the US, but also the relationship between US and the world, leaving the world's political and economic situation in a state of turmoil and chaos for quite some time. A new round of Cold War, or quasi-Cold War, is likely to begin between the East and West, which will in turn have a huge negative impact on the global industrial chain.
The webinar was jointly hosted by APEC Institute's Learning Consultant Joanna Boo (right) and Dr Li Mingjiang, Associate Professor at S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies.
Therefore, Professor Yang believes that in the wake of the US election and the pandemic, the pattern of the global industrial chain may show a trend of rising trade protectionism, increasing distrust between countries, and more competition in the next few years. The search for a solution will be a great test of political knowledge, foresight and collaboration between countries, especially among the world's major powers.
NUS Professor Yang Jian Wei sharing on his opinions on the global industrial chain landscape.
As a senior academic, Professor Yang also spoke on Singapore's position and role in the global industrial chain. He pointed out that Singapore is both a beneficiary of global industrial chains and an important node in the global industrial chain linking the East and West. Singapore is a small economy, or one that is highly externally oriented and dependent, and its rise to prominence is dependent on diversifying of labour globally. Today, if the tide of reverse globalisation intensifies, coupled with rising populism and escalating trade protectionism, it will be difficult for Singapore to maintain the high economic growth rates that it has enjoyed in the past.
As a committed advocate and practitioner of economic globalisation, Singapore has always responded to and embraced the trend, linking its own development closely with Asia, and maintaining a global perspective in its planning, actively promoting international economic cooperation, especially strengthening communication and cooperation with regional countries such as China, Japan, Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.
Professor Yang and the hosts had an interactive discussion on the webinar's topic.
In Professor Yang's opinion, he believes that once the RCEP Agreement has been signed, which is the world's largest Free Trade Agreement (FTA), it will undoubtedly bring a lot of positivity to the development of the global industrial chain. As the world's largest FTA covering 2.2 billion people and nearly 30% of the world's GDP, it will have a significant impact and bring about positive changes to the division of labour in the international industrial chain and the world's economic and trade landscape. Currently, ASEAN has overtaken the EU as China's largest foreign trading partner, and the resilience of economic and trade cooperation between China and ASEAN countries is evident to all. Along with the RCEP, economic globalisation will bring new opportunities for China and Singapore to cooperate and develop together to propel the this new-born economic train forward at a rapid pace.
The APEC Experts Forum is a webinar series organised by APEC Institute of Business, which focuses on current affairs, new business leaders, healthcare and other current topics. The series will enable companies and individuals to develop a global perspective and grasp important information in time, providing excellent opportunities and an international learning platform for organizations and individuals. Stay tuned!