15:36 | 03/05/2018 Cooperation
The increasing trade tensions between the US and China pose one of the most pressing concerns for Southeast Asian nations, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said.
|Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong - Photo: AFP/VNA|
He flagged his concerns over the recent trade tensions between the US and China, which are among top trading partners of Singapore, while addressing the 32nd ASEAN Summit in Singapore on April 28.
The open and rules-based multilateral trading systems, which has underpinned the growth of ASEAN member states, has come under pressure as the political mood in many countries has shifted against free trade, he said.
To counter pressure from mounting trade protectionism, ASEAN needs to push ahead with extensive and intensive integration among economies as well as enhance cooperation in new fields, he suggested.
ASEAN is a regional group that promotes economic, political and security cooperation among its 10 members, namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
The trade tensions between the US and China have escalated in recent times when both countries have proposed tariffs of US$50 billion on each other's products. President Donald Trump is looking to impose tariffs of up to US$100 billion more on Chinese goods.