Photo of Lee Hsien Loong from CNA

Following the impending termination of Trans-Pacific Pact (TPP) deal, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong expressed his disappointment at the APEC CEO summit held in Lima Peru yesterday (Nov 18).

PM Lee however proposed to enhance existing trade pacts and cooperation to replace the TPP.

“The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the ASEAN Economic Community are examples of building blocks drawing economies towards an eventual FTAAP.”

The Singapore Prime Minister then said the Brexit and Donald Trump’s election win are results of people blaming globalisation:

“Events like Brexit, the resurgence of far-right political parties in Europe and the reactions of lower- and middle-income white voters in the recent US presidential election. We are seeing a nativist response and reaction in developed countries by those who blame globalisation for making them worse off.”

PM Lee then started giving a lecture to the 12 TPP member countries at the seminar that governments need to take care of their people to let them share the benefits of free trade:

“Exploiting technology and globalisation are still the most effective ways to improve lives, even though it must be recognised that they cause disruption, and result in both winners and losers. This is where governments need to step in – by creating inclusive policies like affordable healthcare and investing in lifelong learning, especially as workers now need to “unlearn and learn to stay relevant.”