David Dodwell

David Dodwell

David Dodwell is the executive director of the Hong Kong-APEC Trade Policy Study Group, a trade policy think tank.

Latest from David Dodwell

Inside Out | In two pandemic years, how political divisions and policy missteps have failed the world

Since the first outbreak, the coronavirus pandemic has been marked by political failure in the US, the UK, Australia, Japan and China. In Hong Kong, our leaders have been forced into a false choice of opening up to the mainland or the world. Harm to Hong Kong’s economy might be permanent.

Since the first outbreak, the coronavirus pandemic has been marked by political failure in the US, the UK, Australia, Japan and China. In Hong Kong, our leaders have been forced into a false choice of opening up to the mainland or the world. Harm to Hong Kong’s economy might be permanent.

16 Jan 2022 - 4:45PM
Outside In | With Hong Kong’s future as Asia’s leading business hub at stake, where’s the Covid-19 rescue plan?

The travel and tourism sector is bleeding worldwide, but as a home for global business, Hong Kong has been hit especially hard. Given the gravity of the challenges, it is counterproductive for our government to persist with its hermit-economy zero-Covid strategy.

The travel and tourism sector is bleeding worldwide, but as a home for global business, Hong Kong has been hit especially hard. Given the gravity of the challenges, it is counterproductive for our government to persist with its hermit-economy zero-Covid strategy.

15 Jan 2022 - 6:45AM
Inside Out | Will Covid-19 go? Will Carrie Lam stay? Predictions for 2022

From US-China tensions and decoupling rhetoric to the property and equity market bubbles, it appears that little will change. It is a time for clear strategic thinking and serious international cooperation but, sadly, both are in short supply.

From US-China tensions and decoupling rhetoric to the property and equity market bubbles, it appears that little will change. It is a time for clear strategic thinking and serious international cooperation but, sadly, both are in short supply.

10 Jan 2022 - 10:30AM
Outside In | Our complacency about sky-high government debt will cost our children dearly

With interest rates rising, public debt still high and governments needing to keep on spending, the least painful path to sustainable debt is to engineer strong growth. But this is easier said than done. Instead, we risk leaving the next generation to pay off our debts.

With interest rates rising, public debt still high and governments needing to keep on spending, the least painful path to sustainable debt is to engineer strong growth. But this is easier said than done. Instead, we risk leaving the next generation to pay off our debts.

8 Jan 2022 - 4:22AM
Inside Out | As China marks 20 years of accession to the WTO, what of the trade body’s vitality and relevance?

China becoming a member of the WTO transformed the country into a significant force at the heart of the global economic system. However, with momentum behind the Doha Round of negotiations fading, so too has the WTO’s capacity to tackle 21st century trade policy challenges.

China becoming a member of the WTO transformed the country into a significant force at the heart of the global economic system. However, with momentum behind the Doha Round of negotiations fading, so too has the WTO’s capacity to tackle 21st century trade policy challenges.

12 Dec 2021 - 5:00PM
Outside In | In the name of democracy, US summit sets out to divide the world

The recognition that democracy can take different forms takes a backseat to the apparent US intent to draw a fence around likely allies in an effort to isolate a rising China.

The recognition that democracy can take different forms takes a backseat to the apparent US intent to draw a fence around likely allies in an effort to isolate a rising China.

10 Dec 2021 - 10:00PM
Inside Out | Why binding treaty on pandemic response is not best way forward

Past experience with negotiating binding treaties suggests seeking one on pandemic response would take too long to have the desired effect. Instead, close international cooperation and a basic set of ground rules would go a long way towards heading off future pandemics.

Past experience with negotiating binding treaties suggests seeking one on pandemic response would take too long to have the desired effect. Instead, close international cooperation and a basic set of ground rules would go a long way towards heading off future pandemics.

5 Dec 2021 - 5:00PM
Outside In | Why Hong Kong’s rich environment is part of its competitive advantage

Among Hong Kong’s many advantages, its unique blend of teeming urban humanity and pristine natural wilderness is too often overlooked. If we must eat away at our green spaces and country parks, do so knowing that we compromise our natural heritage at our peril.

Among Hong Kong’s many advantages, its unique blend of teeming urban humanity and pristine natural wilderness is too often overlooked. If we must eat away at our green spaces and country parks, do so knowing that we compromise our natural heritage at our peril.

4 Dec 2021 - 4:38AM
Inside Out | WTO still dithers while climate change, pandemic and trade war threaten the globe

Before the postponement of the latest meeting, negotiators were making tentative noises about a possible agreement on fisheries subsidies and an e-commerce deal – the same areas as four years ago.

Before the postponement of the latest meeting, negotiators were making tentative noises about a possible agreement on fisheries subsidies and an e-commerce deal – the same areas as four years ago.

29 Nov 2021 - 2:30AM
Outside In | Lessons from the Covid-19 pandemic are clear – but are we ready to apply them?

We know which countries to learn from and what practices to adopt but political tensions cause leaders to hesitate. Perhaps more power and funding ought to be ceded to multilateral organisations – but how many political leaders would do that?

We know which countries to learn from and what practices to adopt but political tensions cause leaders to hesitate. Perhaps more power and funding ought to be ceded to multilateral organisations – but how many political leaders would do that?

27 Nov 2021 - 4:26AM
Inside Out | Beijing Winter Olympics’ legacy may be upholding spirit of participation, not threat of boycotts

Despite Olympic officials’ insistence on sport and politics being kept separate, such events are an inevitable magnet for the global controversies of the day.

Despite Olympic officials’ insistence on sport and politics being kept separate, such events are an inevitable magnet for the global controversies of the day.

21 Nov 2021 - 8:30PM
Outside In | Pandemic and climate change mean extraordinary debt levels are becoming the new normal

Global debt has risen to record levels as countries try to shore up their health systems, fight Covid-19 and restart their economies. Inflation, a flagging recovery and further spending on climate change could have even rich countries sweating.

Global debt has risen to record levels as countries try to shore up their health systems, fight Covid-19 and restart their economies. Inflation, a flagging recovery and further spending on climate change could have even rich countries sweating.

20 Nov 2021 - 4:29AM
Inside Out | Xi-Biden meeting: the US-China mood music has changed, and for good reason

Recent global meetings have underscored the need for greater leadership from China and the US on issues from climate to pandemic recovery. Both leaders also need to calm the waters ahead of a critical year domestically.

Recent global meetings have underscored the need for greater leadership from China and the US on issues from climate to pandemic recovery. Both leaders also need to calm the waters ahead of a critical year domestically.

15 Nov 2021 - 3:30AM
Outside In | Who says China is retreating into splendid self-isolation?

China’s trade and FDI numbers continue to rise and its industrial policies aim to strengthen the domestic economy and plug manufacturing vulnerabilities – not decouple from the rest of the world.

China’s trade and FDI numbers continue to rise and its industrial policies aim to strengthen the domestic economy and plug manufacturing vulnerabilities – not decouple from the rest of the world.

13 Nov 2021 - 8:45AM
Inside Out | COP26: talk of US$130 trillion is cheap when a global carbon fund is the need of the hour

How could the world’s rich economies, after failing for 12 years to provide US$100 billion a year in climate finance, suddenly be talking about US$130 trillion? The best progress will be made not with headline-grabbers, but by more focused initiatives like agreement on carbon trading and a simple carbon fund.

How could the world’s rich economies, after failing for 12 years to provide US$100 billion a year in climate finance, suddenly be talking about US$130 trillion? The best progress will be made not with headline-grabbers, but by more focused initiatives like agreement on carbon trading and a simple carbon fund.

7 Nov 2021 - 10:30PM
Opinion | Pandemic’s dark clouds still cast a shadow over Hong Kong’s economy

Hong Kong’s ability to vaccinate and provide financial support is helping it towards an earlier recovery. But its draconian quarantine scheme and the mainland border closure is muddying prospects of a jobs and wages recovery.

Hong Kong’s ability to vaccinate and provide financial support is helping it towards an earlier recovery. But its draconian quarantine scheme and the mainland border closure is muddying prospects of a jobs and wages recovery.

6 Nov 2021 - 8:45AM
Inside Out | Lack of global unity on climate and pandemic leave little hope for healing a ‘broken world’

This week will be replete with ‘declarations of intent’ that quickly evaporate as political leaders return home to messy political squabbles. If the response to Covid-19 is any guide, the chances of global cooperation to avert a climate crisis are close to zero.

This week will be replete with ‘declarations of intent’ that quickly evaporate as political leaders return home to messy political squabbles. If the response to Covid-19 is any guide, the chances of global cooperation to avert a climate crisis are close to zero.

1 Nov 2021 - 3:30AM
Outside In | Thailand’s decision to physically host Apec recognises virtual meetings are no substitute for the real thing

Millions of dollars in corporate travel – and tonnes of carbon emissions – have been saved, thanks to virtual meetings. But person-to-person relationships historically drive progress in organisations like Apec and the G20.

Millions of dollars in corporate travel – and tonnes of carbon emissions – have been saved, thanks to virtual meetings. But person-to-person relationships historically drive progress in organisations like Apec and the G20.

30 Oct 2021 - 6:11AM
Wonders old and new in China’s Greater Bay Area, a land of opportunity Hong Kong and Macau have been invited to join

Of all the regions of China that have modernised since its opening to the world in 1978, none has changed faster than the Greater Bay Area.

Of all the regions of China that have modernised since its opening to the world in 1978, none has changed faster than the Greater Bay Area.

29 Oct 2021 - 6:15PM
Inside Out | Can WTO serve up miracles when trade ministers meet?

The mood music from Washington may have improved amid a growing imperative to reach global agreements on trade. But decades of deadlock and procrastination leave most economists sceptical over what the 12th Ministerial Conference can deliver.

The mood music from Washington may have improved amid a growing imperative to reach global agreements on trade. But decades of deadlock and procrastination leave most economists sceptical over what the 12th Ministerial Conference can deliver.

24 Oct 2021 - 10:45PM
Outside In | By all means, save Christmas – but don’t blame the global supply chain

As logistical chaos threatens Christmases across America and Britain, the lesson is not that the global supply chain should be dismantled but that, in modern manufacturing, small hiccups can cause big disruptions.

As logistical chaos threatens Christmases across America and Britain, the lesson is not that the global supply chain should be dismantled but that, in modern manufacturing, small hiccups can cause big disruptions.

23 Oct 2021 - 3:30AM
Inside Out | US, not China, is threatening the foundations of multilateral cooperation just when unity is needed most

Apec nations are failing to deliver on commitments to cooperate on the pandemic and climate change. Unless the US relaxes its grip on global institutions and allows China to play a bigger role, Beijing will go its own way.

Apec nations are failing to deliver on commitments to cooperate on the pandemic and climate change. Unless the US relaxes its grip on global institutions and allows China to play a bigger role, Beijing will go its own way.

18 Oct 2021 - 3:30AM
Outside In | Nobel Peace Prize welcome recognition of good journalism’s indispensable role in society

The award to two champions of a free press is a chance to pause and think about what makes good journalism. Clarity, concision and scepticism are crucial at a time of widespread ‘fake news’ and growing distrust of institutions and expertise.

The award to two champions of a free press is a chance to pause and think about what makes good journalism. Clarity, concision and scepticism are crucial at a time of widespread ‘fake news’ and growing distrust of institutions and expertise.

16 Oct 2021 - 1:30AM
Inside Out | Why Biden’s China trade policy is still haunted by the ghost of Trump

Damaging though the trade war is, Biden cannot afford to risk mid-term votes. Also, his administration is more preoccupied with defence and security than trade and economics.

Damaging though the trade war is, Biden cannot afford to risk mid-term votes. Also, his administration is more preoccupied with defence and security than trade and economics.

11 Oct 2021 - 4:00AM
Outside In | Getting to net zero is going to be a brutal slog. Are we ready to make the drastic changes needed?

Rocketing fossil fuel prices worldwide make it clear the transition to sustainability is going to be messier and more costly than we think. Political leaders need the will to make unpopular decisions, and consumers will have to make significant lifestyle changes.

Rocketing fossil fuel prices worldwide make it clear the transition to sustainability is going to be messier and more costly than we think. Political leaders need the will to make unpopular decisions, and consumers will have to make significant lifestyle changes.

9 Oct 2021 - 8:45AM
Inside Out | Why Germany’s post-Merkel shift is no threat to China’s interests

Beijing and states around the world are watching with trepidation as Germany’s first post-Merkel government takes shape. German politics will be messy for a while, but US missteps in Europe have short-circuited any coalition of Western democracies unified against China.

Beijing and states around the world are watching with trepidation as Germany’s first post-Merkel government takes shape. German politics will be messy for a while, but US missteps in Europe have short-circuited any coalition of Western democracies unified against China.

3 Oct 2021 - 4:30PM
Outside In | The West’s ‘Hong Kong narrative’ was wrong. But so is Paul Chan’s

The financial secretary’s report, meant to showcase Hong Kong’s recovery from the protest chaos of 2019, laid bare the extensive damage wrought. But its claim of a return to peace and economic health is an overstatement.

The financial secretary’s report, meant to showcase Hong Kong’s recovery from the protest chaos of 2019, laid bare the extensive damage wrought. But its claim of a return to peace and economic health is an overstatement.

2 Oct 2021 - 6:45AM
Inside Out | China joining Pacific trade pact would benefit all members, but gaining entry won’t be easy

Whatever Beijing’s fundamental motives for applying for membership, the economic logic of letting China join the CPTPP is strong. However, China would have to reform substantially to meet the pact’s requirements in addition to overcoming the scepticism of US allies.

Whatever Beijing’s fundamental motives for applying for membership, the economic logic of letting China join the CPTPP is strong. However, China would have to reform substantially to meet the pact’s requirements in addition to overcoming the scepticism of US allies.

27 Sep 2021 - 3:30AM
Outside In | How China’s Belt and Road Initiative could benefit from Ig Nobel Prize-winning research

Honouring research that makes one laugh and think, this year’s Ig Nobel winners range from analysis of cat-human communication to a paper on discarded chewing gum. A study that found the obesity of a country’s politicians is a good indicator of corruption in that country probably has the most practical value.

Honouring research that makes one laugh and think, this year’s Ig Nobel winners range from analysis of cat-human communication to a paper on discarded chewing gum. A study that found the obesity of a country’s politicians is a good indicator of corruption in that country probably has the most practical value.

25 Sep 2021 - 3:30AM
Inside Out | First the Quad, now ‘Aukus’: why the US is talking up the China threat

The Biden administration needs the US public on its side with midterm elections looming and control of the Senate and Congress hanging by a thread. There is no electoral choice but to look tough.

The Biden administration needs the US public on its side with midterm elections looming and control of the Senate and Congress hanging by a thread. There is no electoral choice but to look tough.

20 Sep 2021 - 3:30AM