G20 members expected to rise above differences to shape multilateralism
With the approval of a China-japan ETF (Exchange Traded Fund) connect mechanism on Monday, China has taken another step to open up its financial markets to support the building of an open world economy.
Despite rising protectionism in the world, China has never faltered in opening up its economy. On the contrary, the country has been consistently introducing new measures to give global investors easier access to the Chinese market.
In mid-june, the Shanghai-london Stock Connect program was officially launched. On Monday, China’s A shares were included in the FTSE Global Equity Index Series as scheduled.
All these measures displayed China’s stance in support of an open economy, which adds certainties to global economic growth and brings comfort to those who fear that the world economy might slip into recession due to protectionism.
At a routine press conference ahead of the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said, “China hopes the summit in Osaka will send a strong signal of supporting multilateralism and opposing unilateralism, supporting openness, inclusiveness and opposing protectionism, supporting win-win cooperation and opposing bullying.”
The G20 was set up in response to the 2008 global financial crisis. Its present core mission is to establish economic fundamentals for realizing sustainable and inclusive growth of the global economy.
Right now, the world economy is at a critical stage. A report released by the World Trade Organization showed trade restrictions among G20 members continued at historic high levels, as trade coverage of new import-restrictive measures introduced from October 2018 to May 2019 was more than 3.5 times the average since May 2012.
Meanwhile, international investment shrank heavily last year, with global flows of foreign direct investment falling by 13 percent to $1.3 trillion, the lowest since the 2008 global financial crisis, said the UN Conference on Trade and Development in a report.
It is high time G20 members, which account for more than 80 percent of the global GDP, took responsibility to resist economic headwinds and promote free trade and globalization.
China sincerely hopes that G20 members can put aside prejudice and animosity, strengthen policy coordination and push forward the rules-based multilateral trading system for the sake of the common interests of the international community.
Unilateralism and protectionism lead to nowhere but holding back economic progress, as market sentiment has been fragile and corporate confidence low under volatile trade policies.
To restore confidence and strengthen resilience of the world economy, there is no better solution than cementing a consensus to develop an open world economy. The article is a commentary of the Xinhua News Agency. opin[email protected]altimes.com.cn