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Malaysia's Mahathir says data laws shouldn't just help big firms

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Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said that laws relating to personal data and intellectual property rights shouldn’t just benefit big companies or advanced economies.

Monday 19, November 2018

(Bloomberg)--During his speech to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Papua New Guinea on Saturday, Mahathir said, “The debate on data localisation, intellectual property rights and other related matters will continue. But the philosophy of finding a mutual agreement is that it must benefit national governments and not just big multinational corporations or advanced countries. There needs to be collaboration at the global level to ensure that everyone benefits from technological advancement.”

He added that Malaysia has gone too far in free trade and economic integration to let them go under in this age of disruption. “What we need to do is to adjust to it and from there build new partnerships and agreements to suit the changes. What is worrying is not the strategy but the speed that is required to be implemented in order to be effective. It is a new frontier, mostly still uncharted. APEC too will have to deal with this disruption, failing which it will become irrelevant.”

Furthermore, he said he believes in the adage prosper thy neighbour and not beggar thy neighbour. Everyone gains from the former, while only one gains from the latter. Only with this win-win concept among APEC members can a common and inclusive future in the age of disruption be charted.

“The benefits of free and fair trade and economic integration have been disrupted, exemplified by Brexit and trade wars between economies. The trade war between the US and China has amplified further the disruption to our trade and commerce. Policies were needed to protect the losers from a shift toward a more technology-driven economy, including taxi drivers, small hotel owners and brick-and-mortar retailers. They should be retrained and rehired,” he concluded.

TAGS : Mahathir Mohamad, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, digital disruption

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