World Bulletin/News Desk
Keeping global and regional markets open in the time of economic crisis is crucial for eventual recovery, said Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow. That is why the world needs stricter rules on how and when countries may use protectionism measures.
The president warned against excessive shielding of national economies while speaking at the ‘Addressing Challenges Expanding Possibilities’ summit in Vladivostok, in Russia’s Far East.
“Addiction to the medicine of protectionism may temporarily relieve the pain, the acute symptoms, but it slows down the recovery of the global economy, hampers trade and investments,” Putin said.
He added that so far the world leading economies have abstained from taking “irresponsible unilateral moves with unpredictable consequences,” and are acting as a team. But the easy path of limitation remains attractive. At the peak of the crisis of 2008-2009, world trade decreased by 12 per cent, he reminded, the most severe plunge since World War II.
“Sporadic protectionist restrictions” contributed to the decline, Putin stressed, and everybody had to foot the bill.
He admitted that Russia is not clear from the blame itself. He personally ordered protective measures to be taken to shield some Russian industries. Sometimes such actions are necessary, the Russian President said. “Nobody denies governments their right to protect sectors of their economies which are most vulnerable to global turbulence,” he said.
Countries have to come to an agreement on the permitted level of protectionism and come up with clear rules on how and when trade restrictions may be taken, Putin believes.
“It’s bad when we put one thing on paper and do absolutely another thing in life, with an understanding that under the circumstances we cannot act otherwise,” he said.
Putin sees Russia’s part as a newly-fledged member of the World Trade Organization in forging such rules.
“What we need is mutual trust and certainty on this issue,” he said. The work will boost the WTO’s importance and efficiency as an international trade arbiter, Putin believes.
Volatility eased as traders focused on the world economy and corporate earnings after a week dominated by the dramatic spike in tensions over North Korea, which triggered a global sell-off before prices bounced back Monday.
Investors greeted the more conciliatory tone after US stocks dropped three days in a row last week on President Donald Trump's vow of "fire and fury" if North Korea continued to pursue its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.
The ultra-conservative kingdom has moved to diversify its traditionally oil-dependent economy following a sharp fall in crude prices.
In its monthly report on the global oil market, the International Energy Agency said, however, that it believes the supply glut is easing, partly because demand is growing faster.
US stocks have been in retreat since President Donald Trump Tuesday issued a fiery warning to North Korea to halt its nuclear program.
The move by one of Japan's best-known firms greatly reduces the chance of an embarrassing delisting from the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE).
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index weakened by 0.5 percent to 7,503.39 points.
The approval by the European Commission comes just over two months after the European Central Bank -- which took on the role of the eurozone's banking supervisor in 2014 -- allowed the sale to go ahead for a symbolic fee of one euro.
BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Shell and Total have all published results in recent days, showing they pocketed $23 billion in net profit in the first half fo the year.
Higher cereal, sugar and dairy prices pushed food price index by 10.2 percent annually in July
HSBC was also a big riser, gaining three percent at £7.65 ($10, 8.5 euros) in late morning trade after the British banking giant announced a share buyback plan alongside a rise in first-half profits.
Both main crude contracts made strong gains, with WTI testing $50 a barrel for the first time since late May and Brent heading towards $53, while mining giants BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto saw their share price rise as commodities strengthened.