Feb 26, Channel News Asia

ABU DHABI : Former US Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan said on Monday that opposition to investments by Gulf and Asian sovereign wealth funds in the United States did not serve US interests.

"I suspect that most of the negative response (to SWFs' investments) is (driven by) protectionism. In fact, I don't suspect it, I know it," he told a corporate leadership forum in the United Arab Emirates.

"I think that is extraordinarily counter-productive because the United States has probably gained as much, if not more, from globalisation," Greenspan said.

Globalisation has entailed "a very considerable amount of ownership of assets across borders," he said.

"We have always been the major force pushing (for globalisation), and I think for us to be pulling back makes me sad ... because it is not to the best interest of the United States."

Concerns about the state-run investments funds, founded in Gulf and other oil-exporting states and Asian exporters to invest their reserves, were aired at the World Economic Forum in Davos last month.

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photo: Alan Greenspan (by CNA)