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'Global efforts needed to keep recession at bay'

By Chen Jia | China Daily | Updated: 2020-09-25 09:40
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A bartender performs at a night fair of Sinan Mansions in Shanghai, May 24, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

China's new economic growth pattern will fuel its resilient recovery, but stronger international coordination is needed to support the global economy and avoid a severe recession this year, experts said.

The world's second-largest economy is mapping a key economic development strategy for the next five years, focusing on its huge domestic consumer market and promoting a high-level of opening-up, to tackle head winds from the unprecedented global crisis, Zeng Peiyan, chairman of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, said in his speech at the 6th Global Think Tank Summit on Wednesday.

China has the world's most active consumer market, and the new economic growth pattern of "dual circulation" will be the significant development strategy during the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25), Zeng said.

Under the new strategy, the world's second-largest economy will achieve a high-level of opening-up, continuously improve the business environment for foreign investment and better connect the domestic and international markets, said Zeng, who is also a former vice-premier.

He stressed on the need to improve the coordination of macroeconomic policies in various countries and to introduce effective policy measures to prevent the global economy from slipping into a deep, medium-term recession."We need to have discussions on major issues, such as global economy, finance, energy, science and technology, to promote a new global governance plan that is more fair and inclusive."

International organizations, including the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund, have lowered their forecasts for the global economy this year, with a common conclusion that the world will face the most serious economic recession since World War II and more than 90 percent of economies will post negative growth, due to the unprecedented global public health crisis.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has brought not only a blizzard to the global economy, but also a long cold winter. The international community needs solidarity and cooperation more than ever before," said Zeng.

He called for joint efforts to promote the establishment of a global coordination mechanism for public health, strengthening the COVID-19 information sharing system and improving international cooperation on research and development of drugs and vaccines to control the epidemic.

Experts and policy advisers who shared their thoughts at the summit organized by the CCIEE, a national think tank, also called for a synchronous economic recovery among countries supported by international coordination.

China's economy showed signs of resilience and recovery while the global economy has been seriously affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, said Liu Zhenmin, under-secretary-general for economic and social affairs at the United Nations.

Due to the unprecedented challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, the global economy is in a crisis, and world output is set to shrink by nearly $5 trillion this year, said Liu.

"The economies of the United States, China and Germany are showing signs of resilience and recovery. Consumer confidence is rising and retail spending is on the rebound," said Liu. He said that the 3.2 percent growth achieved by China in the second quarter of the year has defied market expectations.

"Economic growth this year matters, but what matters more is how this will affect growth during the next five or 10 years," he said."We must resist the temptation of seeing recovery as a zero-sum game among countries, with a few winning the race while others falling behind."

The UN official listed four major objectives to tackle the crisis and mitigate the COVID-19 effects: striving to save lives, boosting investments, improving human capital and putting the commitment to universal social protection into action.

Lou Jiwei, former finance minister, said stronger cooperation among countries was needed on global issues, while international competition should be based on rules and reforms of the existing multilateral institutions.

Countries need to carry out structural reforms to reduce the negative impact during the process of globalization, and any action to break the global economic links, or the so-called decoupling, will lead to worse situations. "The development of globalization will return to the right path finally," said Lou.

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