Business / Hangzhou G20

Xi shows confidence in global economy at B20

By Li Xiang in Hangzhou (China Daily) Updated: 2016-09-05 08:26

Entrepreneurs hail Chinese leader's speech emphasizing broad inclusiveness

President Xi Jinping's speech at the B20 Summit sent a message of confidence in the global economy amid rising risks from sluggish growth, business leaders said on Sunday.

Entrepreneurs and industry experts who attended the business forum ahead of the G20 Leaders Summit in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, lauded Xi's speech, saying his emphasis on innovation, coordination and inclusiveness helped lay out the future direction of the global economy.

"Countries have been eagerly looking for new growth engines since the financial crisis in 2008. ...Xi's speech offered a prescription to the recovery of the world economy," said Eric Jing, president of Ant Financial Services Group, an arm of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group.

"Only by amplifying the effect of innovation can we truly restore the growth momentum of the global economy," he said.

In his speech at the opening of the B20 Summit on Saturday, Xi said the development of the world economy requires joint efforts from all countries, and he stressed that policies should not be drafted on the basis of self-interest but mutual benefit.

He also called for the lowering of trade and investment barriers to spur growth.

Luigi Gambardella, president of ChinaEU, a business association based in Brussels, said China's commitment to free trade is a good sign amid a backdrop of rising protectionism and trade fragmentation.

Xi also sought to allay concerns over a slowing Chinese economy, reassuring in his speech that China will continue to be the growth engine of the world and that Beijing is capable of maintaining a medium to high growth rate.

John Cai, chief executive officer of insurance firm AIA China, said the president's commitment to deepening reform and liberalizing the Chinese economy sends a positive message to domes-tic and international enterprises.

He said China's proposal to expand financing on infrastructure projects to improve interconnectivity could bring opportunities for financial firms, insurers in particular, as insurance capital could serve as a stable source of financing for such projects.

Some industry leaders said Xi's speech at the B20, and the opening of the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, were examples of China's rising influence in global economic governance.

"Xi's speech shows China is moving from the side-lines to the center in global governance," said Clare Pearson, chairman of the China-British Business Council.

Other business leaders were impressed with his resolution to promote green and sustainable growth.

"Xi has been clear about the environment and sustainability," said Bob Dudley, BP's group chief executive.

"He had a great phrase about green mountains and clean waters being better than gold and silver mines, and how it (green growth) is important to the development of China."

Meng Jing, Zhong Nan and Chen Mengwei contributed to this story.

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