The Strategist

WTO: ASEAN's poorest countries will benefit from growing trade with rich nations

01/18/2024 - 02:38

Trade with wealthier nations would enable some of the world's least developed ASEAN nations—Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar—to better their circumstances in ten years, according to World Trade Organization (WTO) Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Sam Faulkner
Sam Faulkner
"Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar are among the least developed nations in the world that are part of ASEAN; their per capita incomes are significantly lower than those of the rest of the world. I forecast that these less developed nations will greatly converge with the more developed ones in ten years," she said speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos. "And I see (in the future, on a 10-year horizon) ASEAN as a center that still continues to serve as a model for world trade." 

Okonjo-Iweala also highlighted the significance of re-globalization and decentralization of the world's commerce supply in order to improve global resilience.

"We witnessed the supply chains' susceptibility during the pandemic. We also made the decision to examine emerging nations because of their welcoming investment climate and decentralized supply networks," she said.