SICC | Singapore International Chamber Of Commerce | Raffles Quay – The voice of international business in Singapore
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1 AUG 2023  |  ISSUE 464

Dear Members and Friends

This week we bring you a thoughtful piece, and an invitation to an event on the future of trade, by your fellow member Hinrich Foundation Limited.

Yours faithfully
Victor Mills
Chief Executive

Global macro and trade shocks over the past 15 years have upended the post-World War II framework for international economic cooperation. They have also set in motion a widespread reassessment of how trade should be conducted, largely as domestic policy in many countries scrambled to keep pace with the changes. Factors such as the global financial crisis of 2008-2009 and the Trump administration’s heavy-handed application of tariffs spurred geoeconomic fragmentation. The Biden administration has retained most of those tariffs. Other upending factors include the Covid pandemic, inflationary pressures, and the war in Ukraine. All have skewed global trade and investment policies in new ways. Protectionism has become the hallmark of trade policy worldwide. The invocation of national security as a justification to restrict trade, once considered exceptional in trade policy, has now become a norm.

In recent years, some policymakers have taken a step further by restricting exports and controlling outbound investment. It is also a concern when politicians and the general public in many countries are becoming increasingly desensitized to the dangers of closing markets. The economic ramifications are clearly negative and the slide into a less productive system appears inevitable. At a time when the logic for collective action on climate change, poverty reduction and preparing for future pandemics has never been more acute, the folly of fragmentation is, instead, in ascendancy.

To unpack the ramifications of trade fragmentation on the global trade system, you are invited to attend a trade talk on 29 August 2023 with Keith Rockwell, former director and spokesperson for the World Trade Organization and Senior Research Fellow at the Hinrich Foundation. Click here for more information and to register.

Ad Hoc Announcements Ad Hoc Announcement

The Chamber and its Certification Services Department will be closed as follows in addition to the gazetted public holiday in August 2023:

7 August 2023 (Monday) from 12.00pm to 2.00pm for a team National Day Observance

Please take note of this closure and advise all your relevant colleagues to minimize inconvenience.

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