Business / Economy

G20 Hangzhou Summit 'launch pad' for global recovery

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-03-23 17:11

BEIJING - Economists hope China can provide some fresh thinking to inspire the leaden global economy when Hangzhou hosts the G20 summit in September.

"Let Hangzhou be the launch pad for the G20 and let China be the launch pad for the world economy," said Wei Min, a researcher with the China Institute of International Studies, at a seminar held in Beijing by the Brookings-Tsinghua Center on Tuesday.

Members of Brookings-Tsinghua, a think tank under the John L. Thornton China Center operated in partnership with Tsinghua University, are positive about China's growing role in global governance after it assumed the G20 presidency in December.

John Thornton, co-chairman of the Brookings Institution, said the Hangzhou summit will be a chance for China," an enormous economy with impacts on every international issue," to bring new energy and new perspectives to the G20.

As well as putting a lot of focus on China's own economic credentials, the event will serve as a test of its role in the global system, said Jeffrey Bader, a researcher with the John L. Thornton China Center.

Leaders, coordination needed

There is certainly a lot riding on this test.

The world is suffering from low growth and inflation, falling oil prices and lackluster trade, compounded by volatile financial markets and divergence in monetary policies, according to Wei. "Although things have got better recently, we're far from the goal of strong, sustainable and balanced world economic growth."

She advised G20 nations to coordinate monetary and fiscal policies, reform their growth models and create new economic drivers with the help of the Internet.

Economists are calling for leaders of major countries to take joint actions in what they see as a crucial year for stabilizing the world economy.

In particular, this year's G20 summit is an opportunity for China and the United States to strengthen their cooperation to face challenges ranging from climate change to slowing growth.

"It is extremely important that we [China and the United States] work together given the size of the two economies and the connections between us," said Wang Xiaolong, China's special envoy on G20 affairs.

"Not a single global issue can be resolved without the constructive participation of the two countries," Wang said.

Innovation, "not a typical G20 topic"

A big theme of this G20 summit will be achieving more sophisticated growth through innovation amid a new industrial revolution and an emerging digital economy.

Innovation is not a "typical G20 topic but is very important" as it has huge importance not only for China but for other members of the G20 that are trying to move up the value chain, Charles Freeman, another John L. Thornton China Center researcher said.

As old economic engines weaken, China is turning to modernizing and diversifying its industries to refuel growth, encouraging technological breakthroughs and emerging high-tech industries.

Nearly 30,000 international patent applications were filed in China in 2015, up 16.8 percent from a year earlier and ranking the country third after the United States and Japan, according to a report released this month by the World Intellectual Property Organization.

"Riding a wave of Internet development, China has begun to catch up with developed countries in terms of innovation and has started to make its own contributions," said Hu Angang, an economist with Tsinghua University.

Alibaba's e-commerce platforms are shaping business in over 200 countries, and Huawei Technologies filed more patent applications than any other enterprise worldwide in 2015, beating other tech giants including the United States' Qualcomm.

"China is rapidly improving its innovation capability but there is still a huge gap with the United States," said Zheng Xinli, deputy head of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges.

Zheng said China can learn from the United States by encouraging innovation in universities, initiating government-led research programs, further opening up and diversifying financial services to startups.

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