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Nobody Can Stop Globalization: Alibaba's Jack Ma
A conversation on trade between Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma and IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde
By Liu Ting & Yu Shujun | Web Exclusive

Jack Ma, Founder and Chairman of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, talks with International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde at Boao Forum for Asia at Boao, south China's Hainan Province, on April 9 (XINHUA)

It's natural for the U.S. and China—the world's two largest economies and traders—to have trade issues, but they should not be problems that require a trade war to resolve, said Jack Ma, founder and Chairman of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, on April 9.

"Having trade problems is like catching a cold. But you don't have to use chemotherapy," Ma said during a conversation with the Managing Director of the IMF Christine Lagarde at the Boao Forum for Asia. "You are not solving the problem of getting the cold but destroying the whole body or the system.

Founded in 2001, the BFA is a non-governmental and non-profit international organization committed to promoting regional economic integration. Its annual conferences take place in the resort town of Boao. This year's conference will last from April 8 to April 11, focusing on the theme "An Open and Innovative Asia for a World of Greater Prosperity."

"Trade is about negotiations and rules. Trade is not [only] about goods, but about respecting other cultures. Nobody can stop globalization," Ma added.

"We can say with assurance that trade has been a major factor in reducing extreme poverty and spreading innovation. If we want to achieve improved productivity, we need to have trade," Lagarde said.

Lagarde also said that trade must be conducted according to the rules, such as those provided by the World Trade Organization (WTO). When there are trade issues, such as allegations of dumping and the distortion of open trade practices, there are mechanisms and protocols that need to be followed.

If you are outside WTO jurisdiction, in the second manner people still need to cooperate and work together towards reducing consequences and reestablishing a level playing field, she added.

Copyedited by Laurence Coulton

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