APIC ’09: KPIA chairman warns against protectionism

15 May 2009 04:12  [Source: ICIS news]

SEOUL (ICIS news)--Protectionism and restrictions on trade will only serve to prolong the global economic recession, warned the chairman of the Korea Petrochemical Industry Association (KPIA) on Friday.

“Some countries are deploying protectionism, putting priority on domestic industry growth and employment. They need to be reminded that the all-out protectionism back in the Great Depression of the 1930s eventually led to the delay in the recovery,” said Won-Joon Hur, chairman of the KPIA, in the opening address of the Asia Petrochemical Industry Conference (APIC) in Seoul.

“All such policies based on protectionism will not only dwindle the growth of the Asian petrochemical industry, but also diminish investment and entrepreneurship, consequently resulting in the recession of the total economy as well,” he added.

In today’s world of globalization, where an economic crisis in one country could easily spread to others, cooperation to tackle the challenge was essential, said Hur.

“Our efforts could involve restructuring, R&D investment for higher value-addition through product diversification, and efforts to enhance production efficiency,” Hur said.

“Also, we may consider setting up an international economic cooperation system, resembling that of FTA [Free Trade Agreement], abolishing import duties between countries,” he added.

APIC ’09 began on Thursday, 14 May and ends on Friday, 15 May.

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By: Joseph Chang
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