China Daily (Hong Kong)
IMF sees chance for further reforms
A senior official of the International Monetary Fund, or IMF, believes China’s recovery from the pandemic positions the country to strengthen efforts to rebalance the economy and deepen reforms.
IMF First Deputy Managing Director Geoffrey W.S. Okamoto said on Thursday that, with China’s economic recovery “taking hold”, it is a good time for policymakers “to look more deeply at the fundamental drivers of growth”.
He was participating remotely in the Forum on National Affairs 2021, an event hosted by the Counselors’ Office of the State Council of China.
Along with more efforts to rebalance the economy in pursuit of highquality growth, he recommends a strengthening in social-protection programs and reforms to the power sector to maximize the potential of the country’s market-based carbonpricing mechanism.
Okamoto said China is “a key contributor in supporting multilateral trade” and has much to give and gain by promoting multilateral efforts.
He said China’s economic growth is trending back to the patterns seen before the coronavirus pandemic.
For 2021, the IMF projects GDP growth of about 8 percent for China.
“Because China is ahead of the curve in the recovery, it is not surprising that it is one of the first countries to normalize its macroeconomic policies,” said Okamoto.
In the same speech, Okamoto presented the broader context of the world economy. Even as COVID-19 rebounds in many regions, the global economy is continuing to recover. Simultaneously, the fault lines exposed by the pandemic appear to be more persistent.
Widespread vaccine access, mainly in advanced economies, has helped contain deaths and hospitalizations even where new cases have surged, allowing for a more significant normalization of economic activity. However, many emerging and developing economies with limited access to vaccines are being held back as the pandemic persists.
China has as much to contribute to multilateral efforts as it does to gain, he said. Okamoto stressed China’s critical contributions to expanding vaccine access and its role in global debt-relief for low-income countries.