Economic protectionism will create a snowball effect which could leave everyone worse off, a senior international trade figure has told Anadolu Agency.
Arancha Gonzalez, executive director of the International Trade Centre (ITC) -- a joint UN, WTO agency -- said such protectionism, raised by the new administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, would increase global instability.
"l am clear that if one country takes protectionist measures, other countries will reply... and you create a snowball effect that will leave all the countries worse off than they are today," Gonzalez said in an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency at ITC headquarters in Geneva.
"It has the effect of adding to current instability in the world economy which would be bad for every country, including the country that took protectionist measures," she added.
Gonzalez also said countries needed to be careful with trade protectionism because it will not protect the middle class".
The ITC is backing the Women Entrepreneurs' Association of Turkey (KAGIDER) in hosting a Women Vendors' Exhibition and Forum (WVEF Istanbul) which will take place on Thursday and Friday in Istanbul.
About 450 companies have been selected to participate in the event.
According to the ITC, previous meetings held in Brazil, Rwanda, Mexico and China, facilitated thousands of business to business (B2B) events and catalyzed more than US$50 million in commercial deals.
The events also helped mobilize firms behind the SheTrades initiative to connect one million women to markets by 2020.
About the WVEF Istanbul, Gonzalez said: "The goal of the event is to connect women entrepreneurs to markets.
When you empower women economically, we know society grows better, becomes competitive and reduces poverty."
Claiming that women's participation in Turkey's economy is still below potential, Gonzalez said: "If we remove all obstacles to women's participation in the economy, it would be like adding US$250 billion to the Turkish economy by 2025.
So, this would be like adding 20 percent plus to Turkish GDP."
Gonzalez went on to say: "If Turkey goes well, the region improves because, Turkey has a big weight in a region. So, Turkey has the potential to be a big stabilizing force."
Source: Anadolu Agency