Millennium Post

As protectionism mounts globally, AIIB prez bats for open economies

Mumbai: Expressing concerns over the rising protectionist policies followed by some developed nations, Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) president Jin Liqun on Tuesday said such moves weaken the prospects for all countries, including those who are practicing them.

He said as globalisation comes under threst, a a key task of governments is to ensure that the benefits of trade are widely spread so that it helps the losers adjust and become winners.

"Unfortunately, protectionism practiced by some countries is likely to dim the prospects for all countries, including themselves," Jin told the opening ceremony of the third annual meeting of the AIIB board of governors here. Comments come amidst the growing trade between the US and China.

He also urged these developed countries to resist protectionism and remain open, and developing countries to continue opening up.

"We must strive to preserve those features which spread the benefits, and we must rejuvenate and rethink those systems which may be weakening to find a path forward in the 21st century, which is the Asian century," Jin said.

There is a need to revitalise the global economic institutions, he said, adding, "as developing countries increase their share of the world economy, they should have greater weight in the multilateral institutions."

Pressing the need for higher investment in the infrastructure sector, Jin said economies cannot grow and people cannot reach their potential without the necessary economic infrastructure.

He said between now and 2030, Asia's investment in infrastructure will rise to $2 trillion annually, or roughly treble from what it has been in the past.

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