Edition: International | Greek
MENU

Home » World

Jack Ma: America has wasted its wealth

Jack Ma, one of China’s most successful and richest entrepreneurs, has responded to America’s growing globalization backlash, arguing that the superpower has benefited immensely from the process – but that it has largely squandered its wealth

By: EBR - Posted: Friday, January 20, 2017

For all the talk of trade wars between the two economic powerhouses, Ma says that’s unthinkable, and thinks they would instead benefit from working together on this more inclusive form of globalization.
For all the talk of trade wars between the two economic powerhouses, Ma says that’s unthinkable, and thinks they would instead benefit from working together on this more inclusive form of globalization.

by Stéphanie Thomson*

“American international companies made millions and millions of dollars from globalization,” Ma – the founder of Alibaba, the world’s largest online retailer – told participants on the second day of Davos. “The past 30 years, companies like IBM, Cisco and Microsoft made tons of money.”

The question is: where did that money go? It was wasted, Ma explained.

“In the past 30 years, America has had 13 wars at a cost of $14.2 trillion. That’s where the money went.” He also questioned America’s decision to bankroll Wall Street after the 2008 financial crash, arguing the money would have been better spent in other areas.

“What if they had spent part of that money on building up their infrastructure, helping white-collar and blue-collar workers? You’re supposed to spend money on your own people.”

It’s not globalization – and everything that comes along with it, like free trade and outsourcing – that’s to blame for America’s woes. It’s the way the country’s elite managed the process.

“It’s not that other countries steal American jobs; it is your strategy – that you did not distribute the money in a proper way.”

But it wasn’t all doom and gloom in the session. In fact, Ma remains hopeful that globalization can still be a great force for good – for both the US and China. It just needs to be reformed.

“I believe globalization is good, but it needs to be improved. It should be inclusive globalization.”

Ma thinks that should be achievable – and he says President-elect Donald Trump is on board with him. “He’s open-minded and he’s listening,” he told participants.

The two men met recently in New York and had a lot more in common than might be expected.

“We spoke about how we can help small American businesses sell their products in China and Asia through our network, which can create a lot of jobs for them.”

For all the talk of trade wars between the two economic powerhouses, Ma says that’s unthinkable, and thinks they would instead benefit from working together on this more inclusive form of globalization.

“China and the US will never have a trade war… It would be a disaster for both countries and the world.”

*Editor, World Economic Forum
**First published in www.weforum.org

Editor’s Column

‘The Times They Are a-changin’

N. Peter KramerBy: N. Peter Kramer

With apologies to Bob Dylan for using his already so often (mis)used words: ‘The Times They Are a- changin’

View 04/2019 2019 Digital edition

Magazine

Current Issue

04/2019 2019

View past issues
Subscribe
Advertise
Digital edition

Europe

Adapting labour markets to Europe’s green economy

Adapting labour markets to Europe’s green economy

Climate change has provoked an unprecedented response from the international community in recent years. However, as industry becomes greener, the working lives of Europeans will change

Business

Warning Tremors Before a Flash Crash

Warning Tremors Before a Flash Crash

When an earthquake strikes, its relatively mild P-waves travel faster than the subsequent S-waves that cause severe damage. Earthquake early warning systems protect us by tracking the fast P-waves. It is those few seconds between the P-waves and the S-waves that give us precious time to take shelter

MARKET INDICES

Powered by Investing.com
All contents © Copyright EMG Strategic Consulting Ltd. 1997-2020. All Rights Reserved   |   Home Page  |   Disclaimer  |   Website by Theratron