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    Global economy faces risks but looks forward

    Author  :  ZHAO YUAN, WANG JUNMEI, WANG XIAOZHEN     Source  :    Chinese Social Sciences Today     2020-01-16

    The 2020 Global Economic Prospects report was published by the World Bank on Jan. 8 with an estimation that the world economy will grow by 2.5% in 2020, a slight uptick from 2.4% in 2019. Though trade and investment has been gradually recovering, the risk of a downturn still exists. How to resolve crises and promote stable economic growth have become issues at the center of the world’s focus.

    The report shows that the downturn of the world economic outlook might sharply slow economic growth. The risks facing the world economy include the re-escalation of trade tension, the uncertainty of trade policies, a sharper-than-expected growth slowdown in major economies, and financial turbulence in emerging markets and developing economies.

    According to the report, the latest wave of debt accumulation beginning from 2010 has been larger, faster and more broad-based than any period in the past 50 years. At the same time, the rate of productivity has been slowing over the past 10 years.

    David Malpass, president of the World Bank Group, said that people are worried about the pace of increase and range of the current debt scale. Policy makers should focus on debt management and improve debt transparency, and they should ensure that undertaken debt promotes sustainable development while improving investment and economic growth.

    Zhang Guihong, director of the Center for the United Nations and International Organizations at Fudan University, said that global politics and security risks call for concern. The general global trend in 2020 will still be unstable, while some regions may still face turmoil and conflict. This situation will bring negative impacts on the international trade and investment environments of some regions and countries, trigger the volatility of bulk commodities, and deepen global uncertainty.

    The report anticipates that the Chinese economic growth rate in 2020 will be 5.9%. Zhang said that though the economic growth rate in China has declined slightly, the rate is still higher than that of most emerging economies. At present, as China has become the second largest economy, its stable economic growth will continue to help maintain world economic growth.

    Feng Yongqi, an associate professor from the Department of Finance under the Economics School at Jilin University, said that the yearon-year GDP growth of the first three quarters in 2019 was 6.2%. Looking forward to the future, the internationalization of the RMB, Belt and Road construction, and open financial policies will work together to promote the thorough development of the Chinese economy.

    Ayhan Kose, director of the World Bank Group’s Prospects Group, said that the current low interest rate only provides unstable protection against financial crisis. In the current fragile economic environment, it is essential to decrease debt risks through policy.

    Ceyla Pazarbasioglu, vice president for Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions at the World Bank Group, said that policymakers should grasp opportunities to carry out constructive reform in order to improve broad-based economic growth, which is significant to poverty eradication. Meanwhile, improving policies governing the business environment, the rule of law, debt management and productivity will help achieve consistent growth.

    Franziska Ohnsorge, manager of the Development Prospects Group in the Development Economics vice presidency, said that a slight rise in the global economic outlook can be largely attributed to the economic recovery of emerging countries, the markets of which have played an immense role in the growth of the world economy.

    Yang Zhimin, director of the Integrated Studies Office at the Institute of Latin American Studies under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that facing uncertainty in 2020, all countries, especially major economies, should take collective responsibility to deal with economic reform and development, assuming the task of forming a good external environment, thus creating new opportunities to revitalize the world economy.

    Editor: Yu Hui

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