CYBERJAYA, Dec 4 — Smaller economies need assistance as they face competition from the global trade but are not yet able to take advantage of it, said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today.
“It was discovered that if you have free trade, the main beneficiaries would be those who have a lot of things to export. Those with not much to export do not benefit much from free trade.
“It is therefore important that even if we have free trade, we should provide protection for the smaller economies.
“Otherwise they will just become a market receiving goods from everybody else and earning very little from exports simply because they don’t have much to export,” Dr Mahathir said during a press conference after he officiated the Apec 2020 summit here at the Cyberview Resort and Spa today.
Dr Mahathir made the remarks when asked if Malaysia would use Apec as platform to spur lagging discussions on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
The RCEP is a proposed trade agreement involving 15 nations that has stalled over India’s objections.
Malaysia is hosting Apec 2020.