There will be no winners from a current trade war said ESCAP sustainable Business Network (ESBN) President Mahbubur Rahman while delivering welcome address at the Asia-Pacific Business Forum (APBF) 2018 at Cyberport, Hong Kong, China on 10 April. Open markets are – and remain – the key driver of economic growth, prosperity and job creation across the world. Families struggling to make ends meet will be hardest hit by any new tariffs which will inevitably push up prices at the till and restrict consumer choice. In a globalized world trade is not a zero-sum game – and policy decisions must reflect this reality, he added.
ICC encourages the US administration and its trading partners to seek alternative means to address the longstanding issue of excess capacity in the steel and aluminium markets. Recent years have seen a notable decline in trade distorting measures in these sectors and further progress can only be made through enhanced multilateral dialogue, he mentioned.
Rising trade tensions must not become an excuse for recklessness: we urge all governments to act within the bounds of existing WTO rules and to commit to accelerated talks under existing international processes, Mahbubur Rahman observed.
The Asia-Pacific Business Forum 2018 aims to identify how business engagement in achieving inclusive and sustainable development in the Asia-Pacific region can be strengthened. Specifically, the Forum will discuss how private sector-led innovation, technology and financing can enhance efforts towards achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and associated Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).