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  • The Centre of Expertise on Trade,
    Investment and Public Policy

    Make digital future inclusive to counter anti-globalisation, Singapore Minister for Communications and Information tells Asia House conference

    Published On: 7 November 2019

    The spoils of the digital revolution must be shared equally to counter the rise of populism, Singapore’s Minister for Communications and Information said today at The Asia House Global Trade Dialogue.

    S Iswaran, who is also Minister-in-Charge of Trade Relations, warned that the effects of globalisation and digitisation are exerting pressure on jobs and businesses, leading to pushback against the current global system and “the rise of populist sentiments.”

    An inclusive approach is required to restore faith in the system and secure a positive digital future for Singapore, he said.

    “Globalisation and technological change can create much value and opportunities, yet cause profound dislocations for workers and businesses,” the Minister said during the keynote speech at Asia House’s major conference, held at the Mandarin Oriental Singapore.

    “Unless there is a fair distribution of the larger benefits, the natural instinct is to push back against greater competition and disruptive change. Our efforts to embrace technology and economic integration must therefore be matched by an equitable distribution of the benefits.”

    The Minister also took part in a Q&A with Asia House Chief Executive Michael Lawrence during the conference, which was sponsored by Pfizer, Arup and Accenture.

    The Asia House Global Trade Dialogue convened leading figures from trade, policy and technology to explore the forces reshaping world trade, and the developments likely to happen next. The US-China trade war, RCEP developments, and the influence of tech and big data in global trade were all on the agenda at the dialogue, which also saw Stuart Gulliver, former Group CEO, HSBC, and Arancha Gonzalez, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director, International Trade Center, take part in Q&A sessions.

    WATCH Minister Iswaran’s speech and Q&A at the Asia House Global Trade Dialogue now