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UPDATED: November 14, 2011 NO. 46 NOVEMBER 17, 2011
Troubled Times
Leaders of the world's top 20 industrialized and emerging economies attempt to ease fears about the global economy

China's contributions


PREOCCUPIED: Protesters from the "Occupy London Stock Exchange" rally outside St. Paul's Cathedral in London on October 29 (XINHUA/AFP) 

Although current problems of the world economy are most evident in developed nations like Europe and the United States, no economy can be completely immune to the spreading crisis.

"Maintaining stable and fairly rapid development is China's biggest contribution to the world," said Zhang Yuyan, Director of the Institute of World Economics and Politics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

In his speech, President Hu said the G20 must continue to demonstrate the spirit of "standing together in times of adversity and pursuing win-win cooperation."

He declared that China will give zero-tariff treatment to 97 percent of the tariff items of exports to China from the least developed countries having diplomatic ties with China as part of its commitment to South-South cooperation. This shows China takes its responsibilities seriously, said Zhang Yuyan.

Since China's accession to the WTO a decade ago, China's economy has made significant advances and its contribution to world economic growth has been growing, Hu said.

At the same time, China's average tariff level has dropped from 15.3 percent to 9.8 percent, which is lower than the WTO requirement for developing countries. Its total imports in the past decade have reached $8.5 trillion, creating a huge market for other countries.

In the first three quarters of 2011, China's GDP grew by 9.4 percent year on year. Its imports grew faster than exports, and China's trade surplus decreased over the same period last year.

Hu also stated China's plans for economic development: strengthening and improving macro control; maintaining a balance between achieving steady and fast economic growth, adjusting the economic structure and managing inflation expectations; achieving all-round, balanced and sustainable development; deepening reform and opening up; and improving people's well-being.

In the coming five years, China's imports are expected to exceed $8 trillion, which will be a major contribution of China to the global economy, Hu said.

Li Daokui, a professor of economics with Tsinghua University, said China's economic development has created opportunities for its trade partners as well as foreign investors. China has invested a large amount of capital in international financial institutions like the IMF, provided assistance to other developing countries and purchased national bonds of developed countries—moves that have helped stabilize the international economic and financial situation.

Perspectives on Stronger Growth

Chinese President Hu Jintao made a five-point proposal on promoting global economic growth and financial stability in his speech on November 3 at the G20 Summit in Cannes. Excerpts follow:

- Ensuring growth while paying attention to balance. We should introduce new and strong measures to ensure that the fiscal and monetary policies are fully implemented and that funding is channeled into the real economy to boost production and employment. We should make major efforts to support the development of small and medium-sized enterprises and help them speedily overcome current difficulties.

- Pursuing win-win outcomes through cooperation. We should strengthen consultation and coordination, introduce mutually supporting and complementing policy measures, and tackle sovereign debt risks, massive unregulated cross-border flow of capital and other financial risks. We should keep the fluctuation of commodity prices under control, mitigate global inflationary pressure and make sure that the economic policies pursued by various countries do not offset each other.

- Improving governance in the course of reform. We should advance the reform of the international monetary system in a steady manner, expand the use of the special drawing rights (SDRs) of the IMF and reform the SDR currency basket. We should be firmly committed to free trade, oppose trade and investment protectionism and move forward the Doha Round negotiations.

- Striving for progress through innovation. We should bring into full play the basic role of the market in resources allocation while avoiding blind pursuit of profit and malicious competition. We should vigorously pursue scientific innovation and upgrade industrial technologies. At the same time, we should continue to make creating jobs and improving people's life our top priority.

- Promoting common prosperity through development. We should further unleash the development potential of emerging markets and developing countries and boost the economic growth of developing countries in order to stimulate aggregate global demand. We should continue to increase the voice of emerging markets and developing countries in global economic governance and create an enabling institutional environment for their development.

(Source: China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

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