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World leaders call for trust economy at Russian economic forum

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-05-26 16:30
Bloomberg Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait, France's President Emmanuel Macron, Russia's President Vladimir Putin, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, China's Vice-President Wang Qishan, and International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde (L-R) at a plenary session as part of the 2018 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum at the ExpoForum Convention and Exhibition Centre in St Petersburg, Russia, May 25, 2018. [Photo/Xinhua]

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia - The 22nd St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) concluded a plenary session Friday as world leaders gathered here to discuss pressing economic challenges.

Held under the theme "Building a Trust Economy" this year, the forum, often referred to as Russia's Davos, attracted some 15,000 participants from 70 countries to Russia's "northern capital" and second largest city.

The leaders noted that there are alarming trends that might compromise economic growth, including rising protectionism and unilateralism, the spiral of sanctions and risks from radical technology transformation.

Recognizing the need for a concerted effort in response, they called on countries to enhance mutual trust, remove trade barriers and boost bilateral and multilateral cooperation to drive forward global growth.

NEED FOR COOPERATION

"Global mistrust is calling into question the prospects of global growth," Russian President Vladimir Putin told the forum.

In a speech at the plenary session, Chinese Vice-President Wang Qishan urged countries to build trust and boost cooperation in order to tackle international challenges and cement a foundation for sustainable global growth.

Noting that no single country can cope with today's challenges alone, Wang said building an economy featuring equality, mutual trust, mutual benefit, inclusiveness and good faith between enterprises, markets and countries, is an effective way to unleash the potential of global growth.

Also speaking at the forum, French President Emmanuel Macron said trust is being lost in the international arena and "we need to develop a multilateral approach" to solving international issues.

Describing Russia as "an inalienable part of Europe," he said, "In view of our history... and our common interests, we must work on strengthening mutual trust."

Echoing Macron's remarks on cooperation and interdependence among countries, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Russia's economic growth would benefit its neighbors including Japan while highlighting the importance of cooperation in solving their territorial disputes. He also expressed a willingness to conclude a post-World War II peace treaty with Russia.

In response to Macron's and Abe's appeals, Putin said, "A prosperous future cannot be created by working in isolation ... I am sure we will certainly be successful if we strengthen mutual trust and the spirit of partnership."

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