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Dr M, Asean leaders to address trade war concerns in Bali
Published on: Thursday, October 11, 2018

BALI: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is scheduled to arrive here Thursday to join fellow Asean leaders address deep concerns that the ongoing tariff war and protectionist tendencies will rob the benefits that international trade should rightly deliver to the global populace.

In the midst of the scorching heat on this resort island, the Prime Minister will lead the Malaysian delegation to the Asean Leaders' Gathering (ALG) amid rising tensions as the United States and China imposed tit-for-tat trade barriers on each other's goods.


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As Bali hosts top officials of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank from Oct 8-14 at their annual meetings and the ALG on the sidelines on Oct 11, they are acutely aware of the impending dangers to global business in the event of a full-blown trade war.


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IMF Chief Christine Lagarde lamented ahead of the meetings in Bali that protectionist rhetoric was turning into "actual trade barriers".


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"This is hurting not only trade itself, but also investment and manufacturing as uncertainty continues to rise," she said. There will obviously be much to talk about for IMF and WB officials, as well as central bankers and ministers of finance and development as they ponder the direction the global economy will take if a full-blown trade war were to erupt.

Asean leaders, who are expected to touch on regional issues in preparation ahead of the Asean Summit in Singapore next month, will have to consider the ramifications of a trade war on the regional grouping.

This is in view that most economies in Southeast Asia are inextricable linked to the American and Chinese markets as the two economic superpowers are among their major trading partners, including Malaysia. – Bernama

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