Hollande: Europe can beat protectionism by working with Asia

Hollande: Europe can beat protectionism by working with Asia

SINGAPORE — French President Francois Hollande said Monday that European countries can fight protectionism in trade and other forms by standing united and reaching out to Asia.

Speaking at a lecture in Singapore, where he is on a two-day state visit, Hollande singled out the government of President Donald Trump.

“The U.S. again made a number of decisions and made some choices that will have an impact on its own economy and on the rest of the world,” Hollande said, addressing the audience in French.

“We must explain what the closing of borders is all about, what building a wall, what unfair and migratory policies mean. It cannot be the strengthening of a nation at the detriment of (others),” he said. “It is indeed a battle, to a large extent a political battle, but we have a lot of arguments to win.”

In March, the world’s top economic powers dropped a pledge to fully oppose trade protectionism at the Group of 20 meeting in Germany, amid pushback from the U.S. government.

A statement issued by the group said that countries “are working to strengthen the contribution of trade” to their economies. By comparison, last year’s meeting called on them to resist “all forms” of protectionism.

Hollande said Monday that “temptation” of an inward approach “could hit big countries, big democracies. It could exist in entire continents.”

To counter that, “countries must sign trade agreements, which we did, between Europe and Singapore and between Europe and ASEAN,” he said. ASEAN, short for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, is a 10-nation bloc that operates by consensus.

France and Singapore signed a Joint Declaration on Strategic Partnership in 2012 to strengthen ties in areas such as trade and investment, defence and space technology.

On Monday, the two countries pledged to ramp up collaboration in sectors such as space technology, smart cities planning and biomedical sciences.

Last year, their bilateral trade was valued at 16 billion Singapore dollars ($11.5 billion). France was Singapore’s second-biggest trading partner in the European Union.

“Singapore and France share a common vision of a world that embraces openness, multilateralism, globalization and the rule of law,” said Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam. “We all share common challenges, but the solutions are not to be found from turning inwards.”

Hollande leaves for Malaysia on Tuesday.

Annabelle Liang, The Associated Press

Just Posted

Plane crashes in Okanagan Lake

RCMP say wheels left down caused landing plane to overturn on lake

Two new fast-charging electric vehicle stations unveiled at YLW

Kelowna International Airport plugs in with FortisBC, government partnership

Mellalieu running for Greens again in Central-Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola

Robert Mellalieu ran for federal Green Party in 2015 election and provincial Greens in 2017

Where is your water before you drink it?

A new water facility official opens in Lake Country

Video shows fireworks shot at swan in Alberta

Alberta Fish and Wildlife is investigating the incident in Grande Prairie

Okanagan bylaw officer best in B.C.

Al Harrison of Vernon named Bylaw Officer of the Year at annual association conference

Man accused of assault at South Okanagan beach gets bail

Thomas Brayden Kruger-Allen was granted bail at the Penticton provincial courthouse on Monday

‘Text neck’ causing bone spurs to grow from millennials’ skulls, researchers say

Technology use from early childhood causing abnormal bone growths in 41 per cent of young adults

B.C. teen killed by fallen tree on field trip remembered as hero

13-year-old Tai Caverhill was the first to spot the tree falling and warned his friends

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

Should B.C. get rid of Daylight Saving Time?

The province wants to know, as state governments down south make the move

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Canadians crash out of Women’s World Cup in 0-1 loss to Sweden

Canada missed a chance to tie the game on a penalty shot

Most Read