The Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP) at the National University of Singapore convened the second annual Next STEP Global Conference on November 9-11, 2022, in Singapore. Next STEP is about finding the global Solutions to Economic Problems in a collaborative invitation-only community that spans generations, nations, and professions. This conference focused on the economic implications of techno-nationalism—the increasingly widespread idea that a country’s prosperity and security depend on gaining dominance or self-reliance in technology and that other countries’ technological progress is a threat.
To address this challenge to the global economy and technological innovation, LKYSPP and PIIE invited a select group of top policymakers, tech investors and leaders, and economic experts to define the issues, and examine how policies in specific sectors will shape business and innovation prospects and how techno-nationalism will influence global efforts to address decarbonization, public investment, and economic opportunity.
The conference began with two livestreamed sessions, available on this page:
- November 9 – 8:00 PM SGT / 7:00 AM EST
Welcome remarks by Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Singapore, followed by an on-stage discussion moderated by Adam Posen, President, PIIE
- November 10 – 8:30 AM SGT / November 9 – 7:30 PM EST
Opening session on saving positive-sum technology from zero-sum challenge with George Yeo, visiting scholar at LKYSPP and former Singapore cabinet minister; Adam Posen; and Danny Quah, dean and Li Ka Shing Professor in Economics, LKYSPP, NUS
Small-group invitation-only sessions followed, covering economic security and innovation, bifurcation in information technology and fintech, Asian economic integration, the future of multinational industries, global value chains, tech investment, services trade, decarbonization efforts, and more.
The techno-nationalistic worldview is starting to dominate economic and foreign policy making in major economies, notably in China and the United States. The spread of COVID-19, supply chain disruptions, geopolitical conflict, and nationalist dissatisfaction with globalization all fuel this movement. The United States and China are racing to secure and develop the global flows of critical technologies through increasing control over trade, investment, and digital commerce—independent third countries, meanwhile, are trying to find their way between openness and alliances, all while navigating geopolitical, environmental, and private business interests.
While combining both justified and ill-founded concerns, unchecked techno-nationalism could stifle innovation globally, increase risk of armed conflict, disrupt economic and political freedom, and impede policies to address global health and climate change. Techno-nationalism is already transforming the global business and investment environment, not just supply chains, in other profound but overlooked ways. Improved resilience may be necessary, but pursuing it through nationalization of commerce and innovation will be costly and may be self-defeating.
- Techno-nationalism saving positive-sum technology from the zero-sum challenge
- Is bifurcation in emerging technology inevitable?
- Is bifurcation in fintech inevitable?
- What is the future of multinational industries and global value chains caught between the Chinese and US governments? What happens to services as well as manufactures?
- What is the future for network and information technologies when caught between demands for data localization and patriotic R&D or access rules? Can a global internet survive techno-nationalism?
- Asian economic integration in a widening Pacific
- Global tech investment in a divided world
- The Green Great Game: Techno-nationalism, critical minerals, and decarbonization
- Is it techno-nationalism or techno-resilience?
- How techno-nationalism can become techno-internationalism
Opening keynote speaker:
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Singapore
President, Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE)
Dean and Li Ka Shing Professor in Economics, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP) at the National University of Singapore
Muhamad Chatib Basri
Former Minister of Finance of Indonesia
Chief Economist, US Department of State
Chad P. Bown
Reginald Jones Senior Fellow, PIIE
Vice Chairman, Moody's Investors Service
Professor of Economics, INSEAD
Chair of the Editorial Board, Nikkei
Chief Economist and Senior Vice President for Development Economics, World Bank Group
Deputy Director-General, World Trade Organization
Founding Partner, Recharge Capital
Former Trade Minister of the Republic of Korea
Cullen S. Hendrix
Senior Fellow, PIIE
Head of Asia-Pacific Trade Policy, Google
President, Japan Center for Economic Research
Jacob Funk Kirkegaard
Nonresident Senior Fellow, PIIE
Nicholas R. Lardy
Nonresident Senior Fellow, PIIE
Senior International Adviser, Shell
Mary E. Lovely
Anthony M. Solomon Senior Fellow, PIIE
Nonresident Senior Fellow, PIIE, and former European Commissioner for Trade
Head of Commercial Banking, South and South East Asia, HSBC
Deputy Governor for Markets and Banking, Bank of England
Dilhan Pillay Sandrasegara
Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, Temasek
Jeffrey J. Schott
Senior Fellow, PIIE
CEO for Asia Pacific, Australia, New Zealand, and China, PepsiCo
Chairman, Singapore Institute of International Affairs
Beatrice Weder di Mauro
President, Centre for Economic Policy Research
Visiting Scholar, LKYSPP at the National University of Singapore; former Singapore Cabinet Minister
Stephen Riady Distinguished Professor in Finance and Strategic Management, National University of Singapore Business School
Chief Representative for Asia and the Pacific, Bank for International Settlements
About This Series
The Next STEP (Solutions to Economic Problems) Global Conference was launched in 2021 by the Peterson Institute for International Economics and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore as a series of annual global dialogues where invited leaders address challenges to human well-being arising from economic instability, insecurity, and exclusion. The sessions are aimed at producing actionable, effective, and sustainable solutions that can be adopted by national governments and international institutions.