UNITED NATIONS, Singaporean Foreign Minister, Vivian Balakrishnan, warned that, no country benefits from trade conflicts and protectionism, and that the rules-based multilateral trading system must be safeguarded. "Ultimately, no country benefits from trade conflicts and protectionism. The negative impacts will ripple through the global supply chain and undermine growth and prosperity in all countries," said Balakrishnan.

Singapore will continue to be a strong supporter of the rules-based multilateral trading system. The critical importance of the World Trade Organisation cannot be over-emphasised, as the neutral arbiter of international trade disputes, he said.

"At a time of increasing inter-connectivity and inter-dependence, it is now more than ever, that we need a multilateral approach and strong rules," he said.

Globalisation should not be an easy target for new problems, said Balakrishnan, adding that, governments of the day have an obligation to consider long-term and sustainable solutions, instead of just raising trade barriers.

For example, he said, it is futile to fight, to protect obsolete technologies and yesterday's jobs. "On the contrary, we must try to take advantage of the new opportunities of the global market, to create the jobs of the future."

The 73rd session of the UNGA is being convened at the UN headquarters, in New York, from Sept 18 to Oct 1.

Source: Voice of America