Asia playing increasing role in global affairs: Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen | Singapore Informer

SINGAPORE: In a speech to delegates at the Shangri-La Dialogue on Sunday (May 31), Singapore’s Defence Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen pointed out a change in power dynamics at the world stage, where Asia plays an increasing role in global trade, international finance and military security formerly dominated by the United States and leading western powers.

“The international system as we know it is in flux for Asia today. China and India are no longer poor, at least not in aggregate terms, and certainly not marginalised by the Cold War or sequestered behind the Bamboo Curtain,” said Dr Ng. 

“China is now the world’s second largest economy in nominal terms. India’s GDP has more than tripled since the turn of the century, exceeding countries like Canada and Russia. Japan is also the third largest economy in the world.”

Dr Ng pointed out new institutions and bold initiatives have emerged from this shift and will serve as “new engines to drive development in this region in this new century.” He cited the BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – which have set up the New Development Bank last year, as well as the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), capitalised at US$100 billion.

The Minister also expressed Singapore’s hope to see the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) come in to effect, as the Trade Promotion Authority bill – which will facilitate the TPP’s finalisation and conclusion – is making its way through the US Congress.

“Singapore certainly hopes that the TPP will form one of the driving forces that shape the economic future for this region.” 

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