Ger­man ex­pert: In­fras­truc­ture key for growth

Head of think tank says China’s lead in such is­sues as cli­mate should be car­ried for­ward

China Daily (USA) - - G20 2016 CHINA - By FU JING in Brus­sels fu­jing@chi­

China’s con­tri­bu­tions dur­ing its time as the ro­tat­ing chair of the G20 — help­ing to im­prove global sus­tain­able in­fras­truc­ture, green fi­nanc­ing and in­ter­na­tional de­vel­op­ment — are im­pres­sive and should be car­ried for­ward by Ger­many when it takes the group’s reins next year, ac­cord­ing to the head of a prom­i­nent Ger­man think tank.

DirkMess­ner, di­rec­tor of the Ger­man De­vel­op­ment In­sti­tute, said China has brought new di­men­sions to the G20 plat­form, which he said has “tra­di­tion­ally” fo­cused on global growth and the re­form of eco­nomic gov­er­nance since the first meet­ing was held in Wash­ing­ton at the height of the fi­nan­cial cri­sis in late 2008.

He said he be­lieved that China and Ger­many could use the 2016-17 ro­ta­tion to help to speed up changes needed to re­struc­ture the global econ­omy to­ward more sus­tain­abil­ity.

For Mess­ner, the first pri­or­ity is sus­tain­able in­fras­truc­ture. He said the global econ­omy is still in trou­ble, and to im­prove growth nearly all coun­tries are fo­cus­ing on in­fras­truc­ture in­vest­ment, which he called cru­cial.

He said the next 20 years will see the big­gest in­vest­ment ever in in­fras­truc­ture, and most of ur­ban ar­eas.

“Putting in­vest­ment trends into the con­text of the cli­mate agree­ment and the 2030 global sus­tain­abil­ity de­vel­op­ment goals of the United Na­tions is very im­por­tant,’’ he said, and would pro­vide much of the dy­namism for the global econ­omy.

In this area, Mess­ner said China is lead­ing the way be­cause it will be in­vest­ing a lot at home and along the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive routes, while Euro­pean coun­tries and the United States are re­new­ing their ur­ban and en­ergy in­fras­truc­ture.

He said that push­ing the in­fras­truc­ture projects into new, sus­tain­able and car­bon-free de­vel­op­ment is very im­por­tant, and that China has al­ready done much in re­cent years.

China, Mess­ner said, in­ter­est­ingly ties the green di­men­sion with fi­nan­cial mar­ket re­form, which is about re­duc­ing spec­u­la­tion, im­prov­ing trans­parency and sta­bi­liz­ing the mar­ket.

Mess­ner said China, the first G20 chair since the Paris cli­mate sum­mit, is show­ing the way for­ward.

“My un­der­stand­ing is that China is cur­rently link­ing the tra­di­tional G20 agenda — fi­nan­cial mar­kets and growth — into Paris and the 2030 agenda,” he said. “This is the third thing I think Ger­many could fol­low up.” it will be in

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