Eco­nomic chal­lenges call for new tac­tics

Shanghai Daily - - TOP NEWS - Wang Yan­lin

GLOBAL trade should stay on course for fur­ther open­ing up while in­ter­na­tional trade or­ga­ni­za­tions will need to adopt new for­mats to deal with the chang­ing sit­u­a­tion, es­pe­cially chal­lenges of ris­ing pro­tec­tion­ism and uni­lat­er­al­ism, par­tic­i­pants said yes­ter­day dur­ing the Hongqiao In­ter­na­tional Eco­nomic and Trade Fo­rum at the China In­ter­na­tional Im­port Expo.

“We should sep­a­rate the cur­rent anti-im­mi­gra­tion wave from the anti-glob­al­iza­tion rhetoric, and sep­a­rate the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s anti-trade stance from the gen­eral sen­ti­ment of US com­pa­nies, most of which are sup­port­ers of free trade,” Richard Bald­win, pro­fes­sor of In­ter­na­tional Eco­nomics at the Grad­u­ate In­sti­tute, Geneva, said dur­ing the fo­rum’s par­al­lel ses­sion on Trade and Open­ing.

“We should un­der­stand that pro­tec­tion­ism and uni­lat­er­al­ism don’t rep­re­sent a global trend,” Bald­win, who is also pres­i­dent of the Cen­ter for Eco­nomic Pol­icy Re­search, in­sisted. “And we should dis­tin­guish all these def­i­ni­tions … if you sin­gle out anti-trade, the world econ­omy will def­i­nitely col­lapse, but anti-im­mi­gra­tion won’t lead to such a catas­tro­phe.”

In­ter­na­tional Cham­ber of Com­merce Sec­re­tary Gen­eral John Denton said or­ga­ni­za­tions such as the World Trade Or­ga­ni­za­tion need to be up­graded to fit into the de­mands of the 21st cen­tury for bet­ter gover­nance in­stead of “pro­tec­tion.”

Vic­tor K Fung, chair­man of Fung Group, said that China’s po­si­tion as the fi­nal stage for world pro­duc­tion may change un­der the new global trade con­di­tions but the coun­try can seize the op­por­tu­nity and move up­ward in the global value chain.

Long Guo­qiang, se­nior re­search fel­low at the De­vel­op­ment Re­search Cen­ter, said China should con­tinue to make its trade more con­ve­nient in a bid to be­come more com­pet­i­tive in the new en­vi­ron­ment. “It is im­por­tant to let traders feel com­fort­able when do­ing busi­ness when tech­nolo­gies are avail­able,” Long said.

The World Bank re­leased a re­port last week rank­ing China among the top 50 economies in the world for ease of do­ing busi­ness, up 46 places from 78 last year.

China im­ple­mented the “largest num­ber of re­forms in the East Asia and Pa­cific re­gion,” said the re­port, which looked at Shanghai and Bei­jing.

Jean-Paul Agon, chair­man and CEO of L’Oreal, told the fo­rum that the CIIE is of his­tor­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance as “it will have a pro­found im­pact upon fu­ture trade,” when China will take a lead­ing role.

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