This paper is about how East Asia should respond to the challenges of the external environment. The first challenge is the current slowdown in trade, which has been due to cyclical and structural factors such as the decline in productivity and the maturation of global value chains. The rise in protectionism as measured by rising trade restrictiveness has not impacted on trade, but political and policy uncertainty regarding the direction of trade policy seems to have begun to impact on trade growth. The policy stance of increased protectionism and a retreat from the multilateral rules-based trading system is linked to the pockets of the population who have not seen their incomes improve and who have blamed their plight and increased inequality on globalization. In fact, the issue is more about the lack of effective responses to manage the costs of trade liberalization. East Asian economies need to respond to these challenges by upholding the multilateral rules-based trading system, continuing the various pathways to regional economic integration, and ensuring better globalization through effective capacity building and policies to address the negative effects of trade liberalization.
- East Asia
- value chains