Gan Kim Yong, Minister for Trade and Industry, Singapore
followed by an onstage discussion moderated by Adam S. Posen, President, PIIE
Opening Remarks and Discussion
Zhang Xiangchen, Deputy-Director General, World Trade Organization
with Adam S. Posen, President, PIIE; and Danny Quah, Dean and Li Ka Shing Professor in Economics, LKYSPP, NUS
Closing Fireside Chat
Ravi Menon, Managing Director, Monetary Authority of Singapore,
on "Responses to Geo-Economic Fragmentation"
with Adam S. Posen, President, PIIE
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 third annual Next STEP Global Conference on November 5–7, 2023, in Singapore.
This year's conference focuses on how the intensification of US-China competition has put much of the world in a bind. Economies caught in the middle–those that do not count themselves among the G7 plus China–contain 80 percent of the world's population and are participants in the vast majority of cross-national transactions. Their interests are at stake, but how should they proceed when the two biggest economic players are at odds? Can their coming together independently of the great powers save global commerce for themselves and the world, or even encourage a return to more responsible behavior by the Chinese and US governments?
Coordination, let alone collective action, is difficult. Chinese, American, and now European efforts to de-risk their supply chains and their sourcing of critical materials present opportunities and threats simultaneously for the rest of the world on a nation-by-nation basis. While the US and Chinese governments have recently said that they will not compel third countries to choose sides, they proffer a large and increasing number of sticks, rather than carrots, and exclusive membership organizations (like the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity and the New Development Bank) encouraging just such a choice. Furthermore, standstills on the most pressing global issues for the rest of the world (like climate and debt distress) are the result of the China-US deadlock, which choosing sides will not help address.
Economically vibrant third countries, including Australia, Canada, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Korea, once had a more straightforward and rewarding arc in the world economy. Multilateralism, together with international law and a system of reasonably impartial adjudication, provided a level playing field where small and large countries engaged with one another on a more equal footing. This was true in economic trade as in other domains important to the well-being of each nation, and it allowed for deepening economic integration on an open voluntary basis. This is being lost amid the China-US conflict, and prosperity may well go with it.
To address this challenge to the global economic landscape, LKYSPP and PIIE invited high-level economic thought leaders—including policymakers, global business leaders, investors, scholars, and innovators—to freely, frankly, and constructively build on Next STEP 2022's pathbreaking real-world discussions of the rise of techno-nationalism. Participants address the economic dilemma of how to reconstruct economic ties in a fragmenting world—this requires formulating and advancing specific policy proposals for third countries to reshape and maintain constructive international economic integration, and for what they can feasibly encourage the United States and China to do together.
Several sessions from the conference are available for viewing on this page.
- The multi-speed, multi-approach climate economy
- Follow the flow: governance models for digital payment infrastructure, cross-border transactions, mobile money
- Who, what, where: export controls and outbound investment
- Creating resilient supply chains: reshoring, diversification, and derisking
- Winners and losers in the subsidy races
- The future of the CPTPP
- Rock solid: frameworks for resource management in the quest for critical minerals
- Preparing for the next pandemic: lessons from COVID-19 for global public health and coordinating institutions
Adam S. Posen
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
Gan Kim Yong
Minister for Trade and Industry, Singapore
Deputy Director-General, World Trade Organization
Managing Director, Monetary Authority of Singapore
Senior Advisor, Rock Creek; Executive Committee, PIIE; former Head, Global Policy, Google; former Deputy National Security Adviser, International Economics, Obama Administration; Trustee of the IISS and Member of the Advisory Council, IISS
Muhamad Chatib Basri
Co-Chair of the Pandemic Fund, World Bank; former Minister of Finance of Indonesia; former Chairman of the Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board
Professor of Economics and Public Policy, Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University
Senior Fellow, PIIE
Nonresident Senior Fellow, PIIE; Eric M. Zolt Chair in Tax Law and Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles; former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Tax Analysis in the US Department of the Treasury, Biden administration
Managing Director, Regional Co-Head, Global Payments Solutions, HSBC
George C. Pardee and Helen N. Pardee Professor of Economics and Political Science, University of California, Berkeley; Board of Directors, PIIE
Former Senior Director for International Economics and Competitiveness, White House National Security Council, Biden Administration
Research Fellow and China Program Coordinator, PIIE
Senior Fellow, PIIE
Dean and Professor of Professional Practice, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
Jacob Funk Kirkegaard
Nonresident Senior Fellow, PIIE; Resident Senior Fellow, German Marshall Fund of the United States
Deputy Minister, Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry, Government of Malaysia
Mary E. Lovely
Anthony M. Solomon Senior Fellow, PIIE
Former Managing Director of Development Policy and Partnerships, World Bank; former Minister of Trade, Indonesia; former Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Indonesia
Professor of Political Science, Department of Government, London School of Economics
Governor, Central Bank of Cambodia
Jeffrey J. Schott
Senior Fellow, PIIE
BRICS Sherpa, South Africa
Nonresident Senior Fellow, PIIE; Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Oregon
William F. Pounds Professor of Energy Economics and Professor of Applied Economics, Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Climate and Energy Economics in the US Department of the Treasury, Biden Administration
Deputy Director, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
Senior Fellow, PIIE, former Minister for Trade, Republic of Korea
Former Minister for Trade, Republic of Korea
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.