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Friday, 27 July 2018

(The Star) Abac: Trade war could derail global growth

KUALA LUMPUR: The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Business Advisory Council (Abac) expects this year’s global economic growth to fall below the target of the International Monetary Fund, derailed by the trade friction between the United States and China.

Abac Australia chair and JP Morgan Asia-Pacific Advisory Council chairman Sir Rod Eddington said the pace of decline has yet to be determined as the trade friction is still in its infancy. “Protectionism against trade can have bad implications on jobs and people,” he told reporters here after Abac’s third meeting this year. IMF has forecast the global economy to grow 3.9% this year.

He said Malaysia, ranked as the 27th top trading nation, would also have a hard time hitting its gross domestic product (GDP) target if the current trade turbulence continues to worsen.

“We expect the number to reduce this year as the trade friction will have a negative impact on Apec countries,” he said.

Abac chair David Toua said the destructive forces of protectionism and unilateralism are real threats to economic growth.

Senior business leaders from around the Asia-Pacific region have expressed deep concern about the risk to continued prosperity from the current turbulent trade and economic environment, he said at the three-day meeting which ended yesterday.

“Trade barriers hurt jobs especially those in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) participating in the global value chain, and they hurt our communities and environment,” he said. — Bernama