Global economy at risk from divided US: Chan Chun Sing

SINGAPORE (BLOOMBERG) – The US presidential election result may still be in doubt, but whoever emerges victorious will need to unite the country to adapt to challenges of globalisation and digitisation or risk a pushback so severe it could damage the global economic system, Singapore’s Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing warned on Thursday (NOV 5).

Failing that, “there will be a push back against globalisation and the world economic system may fracture or fragment because of that,” Mr Chan said in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Haslinda Amin.

“One of the biggest challenges for the US going forward is how can it maintain his leadership in the world by mobilising like-minded partners to work together to uphold and update the global economic and security order.”

Mr Chan’s comments come with Democratic candidate Joe Biden closing in on the 270 Electoral College votes needed for the presidency and incumbent Donald Trump filing legal challenges to stop ongoing vote-counting in several states.

Other key points from Mr Chan’s interview include how renewed lockdowns in Europe are having an impact on Singapore’s trade-reliant economy, which will see a “gradual and uneven” recovery from the pandemic recession.

While sectors such as communications technology are well-positioned for the post-Covid economic order, others – like convention-oriented tourism and entertainment – will need to change their business models to succeed.

The minister sees a risk of “fragmentation or bifurcation” in the global economic system.

Singapore’s first priority is to reopen its economy “safely and sustainably”, then to re-establish connectivity with other countries, he said.

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