China’s growing role on the world stage, climate change, and economic questions from inflation to cryptocurrencies were in focus as global leaders of government, finance and industry gathered at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore.
Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan said China will keep opening to foreign investment, and stressed the importance of ties with America. But U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo criticized the world’s second-largest economy’s trade practices, while signaling plans for a new Indo-Pacific initiative early next year.
The three-day event in Singapore comes after Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping spoke on Tuesday to defuse tensions, and just days after a climate deal at the COP26 talks in Glasgow.
Others speaking on Wednesday include Sundar Pichai, chief executive officer of Google parent Alphabet Inc.; David Solomon, chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs Group Inc.; and Lee Hsien Loong, prime minister of Singapore.
Sundar Pichai, CEO of both Google and its parent Alphabet Inc., sees the group’s future as being in its oldest offering, internet search.
Alphabet briefly surpassed $2 trillion in market value, and Pichai was asked by Bloomberg Television’s Emily Chang where the next trillion will come from. Consumers will ask computers more questions with voice and “multimodal experiences,” he predicted.
“Being able to adapt to all that and evolve search will continue to be the biggest opportunity,” he said.
Most Google services have been kept out of China, and while Pichai doesn’t see that changing, he believes the U.S. and China have room to cooperate in areas like climate change and AI safety.
He also said he doesn’t own any cryptocurrency. “I wish I did,” he said. “I’ve dabbled in it, you know, in and out.”
The U.S. intends to initiate a new economic framework for the Indo-Pacific in 2022, Raimondo said, as the Biden administration aims to reinvigorate America’s standing in Asia.
“We’re likely to launch a more formal process at the beginning of next year which will culminate in a proper economic framework” in Asia, she said at the forum. “I am here in the region beginning the discussions, laying the groundwork.”
It’s clear that many people in the region want the U.S. to rejoin the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, she said, while adding that “for various reasons that are not going to happen now.”
She also said the U.S. wants a “level playing field” with China. “China needs to play by the rules, they need to respect our IP, they need to live up to their commitments,” she said.
“Right now for example, in the so-called Phase 1 deal where the Chinese committed to purchasing a certain amount of aircraft and agricultural products, they’re not doing that, they’re not living up to their commitments.” Source.