The CEO of China’s biggest online retailer has warned that “if trade stops, war starts”.
Jack Ma, who met US President Donald Trump last month and announced his company Alibaba would help create one million jobs in the United States, added: “The world needs globalisation, it needs trade”.
Speaking in Melbourne at the launch of Alibaba’s Australia and New Zealand headquarters, he said: “Everybody is concerned about trade wars. If trade stops, war starts.”
“But worry doesn’t solve the problem,” he added, Business Insider Australia reports. “The only thing you can do is get involved and actively prove that trade helps people to communicate.
“We should have fair, transparent and inclusive trade.”
Speaking a month after meeting Mr Trump, he said the world was in an “interesting” period requiring new leadership.
Mr Trump’s first executive order withdrew the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a deal among 11 Pacific Rim countries, which include Australia and New Zealand.
He had described the TPP as “a potential disaster for our country”. In its place, he said he would “negotiate fair bilateral trade deals that bring jobs and industry back”.
Mr Ma said his company believes “globalisation is the future”.
“The world needs globalisation, it needs to trade,” he said. “Trade is about trust and cultural exchange.”
He added: “We have to actively prove that trade helps people to communicate. And we should have fair trade, transparent trade, inclusive trade.”