POSTED 27 May 2019 - 10:12

How is your organisation girding itself for any fallout from the ongoing US-China dispute?

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Top Response

Chia Ngiang Hong, President, Real Estate Developers' Association of Singapore (REDAS)

Like all other businesses, we need to watch closely and prepare ourselves to deal with the impending challenges and unforeseen situations arising from the ongoing trade tensions, particularly so if the conflict is prolonged. Although trade-dependent economies like Singapore could benefit to some...

Responses

Chia Ngiang Hong, President, Real Estate Developers' Association of Singapore (REDAS)
27 May 2019 - 10:15

Like all other businesses, we need to watch closely and prepare ourselves to deal with the impending challenges and unforeseen situations arising from the ongoing trade tensions, particularly so if the conflict is prolonged. Although trade-dependent economies like Singapore could benefit to some degree from trade diversion, a full-blown trade war can weigh heavily on the economy, market sentiment and confidence.

We hope both the US and China will keep their doors open to amicable trade negotiations. Tariffs imposed on building materials and related products will likely bring about higher costs of real estate development and create volatility in supplies and prices.

It is imperative that we continue to take stock, build resilience and focus on the long-term transformation, innovation, technological competitiveness, skill capabilities and growth opportunities. This should enable us to better meet challenges together as the situation continues to evolve.

Dan Marjanovic, Singapore Office Country Head, Simmons & Simmons
27 May 2019 - 10:15

Towards the end of last year we caught a glimpse of the negative impact the trade dispute can have on third countries, reminding us of the importance of the US-China trade relationship to many Asean economies through its influence on the supply and demand for goods and services, investment flows and global supply chains.

The fallout from the deepening economic conflict between the two heavyweight economies is likely to be both direct and indirect, macro and micro, requiring many businesses, investors and policymakers to reassess and refine their strategies. It is difficult to put aside the geopolitics of it all because the dispute hints at the prospect of a return to bilateralism (and protectionism) over multilateralism and could potentially test economic alliances.

The US and China are the world's two largest economies and are global leaders in technology, so the dispute could well worsen should they decide to continue to slug it out until a mutually acceptable position is found. However, figures indicate that they account for less than 30 per cent of global imports which, if correct, means the door is open for third countries to offer the potential of a strong collective alternative for trade and investment flows. So, diversification will be important for many businesses.

Ours is global and our broad network of international offices across the UK, Europe, the Middle East and Asia provides us with the platform to continue to support our clients should they look to rebalance their businesses or reallocate their investments.

Mario Singh, CEO, Fullerton Markets
27 May 2019 - 10:14

The main losers in any US-China dispute would be the consumers in America and China as they end up paying more for the taxable products. At a broader level, the trade war tends to drag down global markets as trading activity prices in global tensions and sells off assets.

As we serve a diverse base of global clients who trade the capital markets, we notice a spike in interest whenever our research team covers any topics related to the US-China dispute.

Particularly, safe haven assets like gold, silver and the Japanese yen tend to be traded a lot whenever fresh news on the trade war emerges.

As a company, we are taking extra steps to ensure that our infrastructure and cross-border connectivity are robust enough to handle any sudden spikes in trading activity due to the ongoing dispute.

Chris Burton, MD, South-East Asia Vistra Group
27 May 2019 - 10:14

It is disconcerting that the US and China have not been able to reach agreement on trade, as a mutually-beneficial trading relationship has proven in the past to have a softening effect on wider tensions. That said, entrepreneurs do tend to find solutions.

In a perverse way, the crisis might benefit South-east Asia, as the apparent impasse could encourage Chinese and US business to relocate operations from China into Asean countries, in an attempt to circumvent tariffs (in the case of China) or as an alternative investment location (for US companies).

This will actually help create further business opportunities for Vistra's corporate services operations in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. Trying to see a silver lining in the cloud here . . .!

Victor Mills, Chief Executive, Singapore International Chamber of Commerce
27 May 2019 - 10:13

Make no mistake about it. Businesses are not fans of trade and geopolitical disputes which increase risks, damage supply chains and disrupt trade.

However, like any business risk, they have to be managed. Member companies of SICC have either taken steps to realign their supply chains and markets or are in the process of doing so. When one door closes, another opens.

That open door is now Asean. Several of our neighbouring countries are already direct beneficiaries of the realignment of supply chains and have been for some time.

The opportunities exist for greater inter-Asean trade, investment and business success.

Victor Mills, Chief Executive, Singapore International Chamber of Commerce
27 May 2019 - 10:13

Make no mistake about it. Businesses are not fans of trade and geopolitical disputes which increase risks, damage supply chains and disrupt trade.

However, like any business risk, they have to be managed. Member companies of SICC have either taken steps to realign their supply chains and markets or are in the process of doing so. When one door closes, another opens.

That open door is now Asean. Several of our neighbouring countries are already direct beneficiaries of the realignment of supply chains and have been for some time.

The opportunities exist for greater inter-Asean trade, investment and business success.

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