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Protectionism will not be able to stop global trade

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Despite fears of rising protectionism in the global economy, trade expansion will continue and remain an unstoppable force.

This was the key message delivered by the finance ministers of India, Pakistan and Indonesia at a panel discussion held on the sidelines of the Asian Development Bank’s 50th annual meeting on Saturday.

Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati noted that global poverty has been significantly reduced since 1950 because most countries, especially those in Southeast Asia, have benefited from open trade and globalization.

“This is something we need to recognize and maintain,” she said, even as world’s trade policies “are becoming more uncertain.”

 One of the uncertainties panelists mentioned was U.S. President Donald Trump’s signing of an executive order in March to launch a 90-day investigation of countries with which the U.S. runs a significant trade deficit. The list of 16 trading partners include such Asian economies as Japan, China, Thailand and Indonesia.

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Trade

Thailand to increase rice exports to 6 million tons this year

National News Bureau of Thailand

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BANGKOK (NNT) – The Commerce Ministry has launched measures to increase rice exports to 6 million tons this year, valued at around 150 billion baht, with Indonesia, China, Bangladesh and Iraq set to be the main markets under government-to-government (G2G) deals.

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Singapore

UK exporters’ use of Singapore as ASEAN’s supply chain gateway boosted by new bilateral trade agreement

Singapore’s role as a hub for UK companies, whether as exporters or investors accessing Southeast Asia’s and broader Asian dynamic economies, was elevated by the new UK-Singapore trade agreement (UKSTA) which came into effect on 1st January 2021.

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UK exporters’ use of Singapore as ASEAN’s supply chain gateway boosted by new bilateral trade agreement

There was much controversy, before and after the United Kingdom’s (UK) Brexit from the European Union (EU), in talk of it adopting a free trade and manufacturing model similar to Singapore’s.

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Economics

Cross-border trade is expected to grow up to 3-6%

National News Bureau of Thailand

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BANGKOK (NNT) – Thailand’s cross-border trade is expected to recover to growth of 3-6% this year, helped by COVID-19 vaccine distribution and the global economic recovery.

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Foreign Trade Department Director-General Keerati Rushchano said cross-border trade, which includes transit trade, is likely to generate 1.36 to 1.40 trillion baht, up from 1.31 trillion baht in 2020.

According to Mr Keerati, the key risk factor that may derail border trade growth is the political chaos in Myanmar that will weaken purchasing power there and cause a delay in goods transport.

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