Work Together for a High-Quality World Economy*
June 28, 2019
Ten years after the 2008 international financial crisis, the global economy has again reached a crossroads. Protectionism and unilateralism are spreading, and trade and investment tensions are on the rise, causing disruption to the global industrial chain and financial stability. The world economy faces more risks and uncertainties, dampening the confidence of international investors.
The G20 is the premier forum for international economic cooperation. We, as the leaders of major economies, are duty bound to recalibrate the direction of the world economy and improve global governance at this critical juncture, work together to boost market confidence, and bring hope to our people.
– We should respect the objective laws governing the economy. Economic operations have their underlying laws. Fully respecting these laws, leveraging the role of the market, and removing man-made obstacles are a sure way to raise productivity, boost trade, and revitalize businesses.
– We need to follow the prevailing trend of development. The history of human society is a transition from isolation and exclusion to openness and integration, which is an unstoppable trend. We need to open up further to embrace opportunities for development and seek win-win outcomes through closer cooperation. We need to work together to steer economic globalization in the right direction.
– We need to keep in mind our shared future. In today's world, all countries are connected, and their interests are closely intertwined. We have a high stake in each other's future. By expanding common interests and taking a long-term view, we can realize enduring peace and prosperity in the world and bring a better life to all our people. We must not allow ourselves to become prisoners of short-term interests and make irrevocable mistakes of historic consequence.
Based on these principles, I would like to propose the following:
First, we need to persevere in reform and explore new ground to create more impetus for growth. The world economy is in a transition in which new drivers of growth are taking the place of old ones. We need to vigorously advance structural reform. We need to develop a future-oriented economic structure, policy framework and management system through promoting the digital economy, strengthening connectivity and improving social security, so as to enhance the performance and resilience of our economies and strive for high-quality development. We need to capitalize on the historic opportunities brought by new technologies, industries and forms of business, to foster an enabling market environment where innovation is respected, protected and encouraged. We need to champion international collaboration on innovation and overcome geographical and man-made obstacles. When we put our heads together to resolve common challenges and spread the fruits of innovation, we can make a difference for more countries and transform their peoples' lives.
Second, we need to advance with the times and improve global governance. When economic globalization faces headwinds, we need to reflect on the important question of how best to improve global governance. The G20 should continue to take the lead in making the world economy open, inclusive, balanced, and beneficial to all. We need to strengthen the multilateral trading system and pursue WTO reform as necessary. The goal of this reform should enable the WTO to advance with the time so that it will be better able to perform its mandate of enhancing market openness and boosting development; and such reform should be conducive to upholding free trade and multilateralism and narrowing the development gap. At the same time, the G20 should also be prepared to deal with future systemic financial risks and challenges at the global level. We must ensure that there are sufficient resources for the financial safety net and see to it that the international financial architecture is more balanced in terms of representation and give better expression to the realities of the world economy. This is a matter of fairness, and it will also enhance our ability to take targeted measures to meet challenges and navigate crises when they emerge. It is also important for the G20 to implement the Paris Agreement and improve energy, environmental and digital governance.
Third, we need to rise up to challenges and break through logjams holding up development. The myriad challenges facing the world today are all caused, in one way or another, by the development gap and deficit. The gaping shortfall in financing global development means that the realization of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development remains a daunting task. It is against such a backdrop that China launched the Belt and Road Initiative. The initiative is designed to mobilize more resources, strengthen connectivity, leverage potential growth drivers, and connect markets. It is designed to integrate more countries and regions into economic globalization and achieve shared prosperity through mutually beneficial cooperation. The success of the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation demonstrates that this initiative enjoys the broad welcome and support of the global community, as it effectively responds to the expectations of our people and the trend of our times. It is important that the G20 continue to prioritize development in macroeconomic policy coordination, scale up input in development, and promote cooperation through concrete actions. By doing so, we can live up to the expectations of developing countries and create a lasting driving force for global growth.
Fourth, we need to forge closer partnerships and resolve differences properly. The G20 is a group of major advanced economies and emerging markets, accounting for nearly 90 percent of the global economy. As G20 members are in different stages of development, it is only natural that we may have diverging interests and views on some issues. What is important is that we should promote our partnership and respect and trust each other, and in that spirit, engage in consultation as equals, manage differences while seeking common ground, and build greater consensus. If this can be achieved between major countries, it will serve not only our own interests but also enhance global peace and development.
* Part of the speech on global economy and international trade at the G20 Summit.
(Not to be republished for any commercial or other purposes.)