World / US and Canada

China urges G20 to implement Hangzhou consensus

By Chen Weihua in Washington ( Updated: 2016-10-08 10:55

Minister of Finance Lou Jiwei called G20 nations on Friday to continue strengthening coordination and cooperation in macroeconomic policy to implement the consensus reached at the Hangzhou summit in early September.

These include using all the policy tools to boost growth, firmly pushing forward structural reform, expanding infrastructure investment, strengthening financial oversight, improving international financial framework and advancing trade liberalization agenda in order to achieve a robust, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth of the global economy, said Lou.

The G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors had a close-door working dinner on Thursday night at the IMF headquarters in Washington during the 2016 IMF/World Bank annual meeting.

Lou told the press on Friday that the G20 Hangzhou Summit was held at a time when global economy was facing serious challenges. "The G20's transition from crisis management to longer-term governance of global economy has drawn widespread attention and high expectation," he said.

He described the Hangzhou summit, presided over by President Xi Jinping, as a complete success.The Hangzhou summit reached extensive consensus on pursuing innovative, invigorated, interconnected and inclusive world economic growth.

At a seminar on Friday morning, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim thanked China for having the digital financial inclusion as a key topic at the Hangzhou summit.

Lou said the participants at the working dinner on Thursday continue to push for the implementation of the outcome of the Hangzhou summit. Meanwhile, China and Germany, the G20 host nation in 2017, have made arrangement for next year's meetings.

He said China hopes that the G20 agenda next year and in the future would earnestly implement the outcome of the Hangzhou summit to ensure the effectiveness and influence of the G20 mechanism."China will strengthen cooperation with Germany and actively support Germany for a success G20," he said.

Lou said uncertainty and risk in the global economy continues to grow. The election seasons in some major economies, the Brexit, the expectation for US Federal Reserve to raise the interest rate, the geopolitical tension and terrorist attacks are all likely to have an impact on the global economy and international financial market.

The Chinese finance minister assured the world that China's debt situation is still controllable. His words came after a report last month by the Bank for International Settlements warned about the excess credit in China's banking system.

He said the debt of the central government is quite healthy, accounting for 18 percent of the GDP, but the local government debt has expanded rapidly. Lou said the central government has paid high attention on the issue and has been dealing with the local government debt.

The October 2016 World Economic Outlook, released by IMF on Tuesday, forecast global growth at 3.1 percent this year and 3.4 percent in 2017, the same as its forecast in July. It said the pickup in 2017 will be driven mainly by emerging markets.

The report predicted that China's economy would grow 6.6 percent this year and 6.2 percent in 2017, down from 6.9 percent in 2015.

The report said Chinese policymakers will continue to shift the economy away from reliance on investment and investment toward consumption and services, a policy that is expected to slow growth in the short term while building a foundation for sustainable long-term expansion.

Fred Bergsten, senior fellow and director emeritus of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, dismissed the market concern about the slowdown of the Chinese economy.

"The Chinese economy is very strong," he said, adding that the 6 or 6.5 percent is still very impressive by any historical standards and by international comparative standards.

"I think those rates of growth are likely to continue," said Bergsten, who is serving his second term as a member of the US President's Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations.

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