GLOBAL FORUM ON TRADE 2 NOVEMBER, TRADE COMMITTEE 3 NOVEMBER 2016 AT THE OECD
The Global Forum on Trade 2 November and Trade Committee 3 November 2016 was held at the OECD. Lively interactive discussions were had among the participants on important and timely current trade policy topics such as, among others, agriculture, impact of reforms in services trade, environmental goods and services, trade and investment linkages in Global Value Chains (GVCs), trade policy making in the digital economy, Southeast Asia Trade Initiative Strategy Meeting, and the causes and consequences of the observed slowdown in trade growth.
Participants agreed important policies are needed to support the distribution of higher wages from deeper globalisation, higher technology adoption, and productivity. Many have been championing this philosophy of boosting economic growth and distributing benefits when they call for “progressive trade” and “trade for all”. Malaysia subscribes to this line of thinking as these elements are reflected in the 11th Malaysia Plan.
Alarms were sounded as there is disappointment the global economy is stuck in a low growth trap. Global economic growth is bubbling along 3% despite unprecedented and distorted favourable interest rates. Solutions need to be found as current economic growth rates have much potential for improvement.