From trade to humanitarian tragedy, nukes to unicorns, the World Economic Forum on ASEAN 2018 covered a swathe of topics in three hazy days in Ha Noi, Viet Nam.
Here are some of the biggest stories of the week:
1. Joko Widodo says he’s an ‘Avenger’ fighting trade wars
It’s not the kind of language we’re used to from world leaders, but Indonesia’s president borrowed from comic books to deliver a lesson in economics.
“Not since the great depression of the 1930s have trade wars erupted with the intensity that they have today. But rest assured, I and my fellow Avengers stand ready to defend Thanos from wiping out half of the population,” he said. Thanos is a Marvel villain who wreaks havoc in a resource war.
The playful language masked a serious point: economics is not a zero sum game of winners and losers, especially as the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution create endless digital resources. Countries can trade and prosper together, as many leaders from the region underlined.