Welcome Remarks by Mr Ravi Menon, Managing Director, Monetary Authority of Singapore, at the 2021 PIIE-LKYSPP-MAS Joint Lecture, 2 Nov 2021

Ladies and gentlemen,

We are marking two events this evening.

  • First, the inaugural Next STEP Global Conference jointly organised by the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and the Peterson Institute of International Economics. I hear there have been some rich discussions over the past two days. 
  • Second, the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s Golden Jubilee Conference, which will extend to what promises to be an enriching set of discussions tomorrow. 
  • I would like to thank our partners for this fruitful collaboration.

At the intersection of these two conferences this evening, we are delighted to host this Joint Lecture featuring the inimitable Martin Wolf, Chief Economics Commentator at the Financial Times. 

  • Martin is respected internationally as a journalist and commentator on global economic and financial issues. 
  • His sharp insights and cogent writing have helped many to make sense of the major economic and financial events of the past 20 years. 
  • Martin’s perspectives have influenced how many of us central bankers and economic policymakers think about a range of issues close to our hearts, from globalisation to inequality to the systemic effects of debt accumulation.
  • In fact, just yesterday, I circulated to my senior colleagues in the Singapore government and the board and management of MAS, Martin’s op-ed on climate change published in the FT last week, entitled What is the Least We Need from COP26.  Amid the deluge of articles around COP26, I thought it was one of the clearest and most incisive expositions of what the world needs to do to stave off climate disaster.

With the G20 meetings having just concluded in Rome and the world’s leaders gathered in Glasgow  for COP26, it is most timely that Martin will speak today on the topic: “Is it possible for humanity to co-operate in delivering global public goods?” 

  • Both the pandemic that continues to rage and the climate that continues to change do not respect national borders.  Vaccines and decarbonisation are the ultimate global public goods, to save mankind from the virus and the climate respectively.  But alas, both are in short supply.
  • The world needs to figure out a way to ensure an equitable supply of vaccines as well as a substantial reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. 
  • What framework of international cooperation will be conducive to promote the delivery of these, and perhaps other, global public goods? How can the inherent tensions between national priorities and global interests be reconciled? 
  • There are no neat solutions to these challenges but if there is someone who can cogently clarify the issues, it must be Martin Wolf.  

Let me now invite Martin Wolf to deliver the 2021 Peterson Institute / Lee Kuan Yew School / Monetary Authority of Singapore Joint Lecture.  Martin, you have the floor.