Author: Fan Gang, President of CDI
Editor’s Note: “We are in the same boat against the currents”, which means that global joint efforts should be made to fight against difficulties of economic growth. China delivered a strong message to the world that it is determined to navigate the course of world economic recovery.
In a CCTV studio interview about “G20 Summit Opens” on September 4, prof. Fan Gang gave an analysis of topics at G20 Hangzhou Summit. He says that trade protectionism should be properly dealt with as it could be one of the major obstacles in the way of common prosperity.
President Xi Jinping mentioned twice that "we are in the same boat against the currents" in the keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Hangzhou G20 Summit, which means that global joint efforts should be made to fight against difficulties of economic growth, financial institution reforms and instability. This speech delivered a strong message to the world that China is determined to navigate the course of world economic recovery.
Before G20 Leaders’ Summit was established during the financial crisis in 2008, G20 meetings of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors were held to discuss international monetary policies and financial institutions. As the world needs to fight the crisis together, two promises have been made by the G20 leaders during the first meeting in Washington. The first one was that we need microeconomic policies to stimulate the economy, and the second one was that we should keep our market open, which was the lesson learnt from the Great Depression during the 1930s. At that time, people just closed the door. It is good for G20 that countries honored their promises and kept doors open, at least for the worst time of the crisis in 2009 and 2010. However, some countries have turned to protectionism because they still have domestic problems and fear competition from foreign countries. China is now confronted with excess capacity and has even had to laid off a lot of migrant workers. However, China don’t blame competition just like what some other countries did. When they see foreign products, they think that it is why they lost their jobs. That’s a kind of frustration and sentiment which caused protectionism, nationalism and very strong localism.
Global economic growth needs developing countries. Even though their growth rates have been slowing down, some emerging markets are still major contributors to the global economy. Developed countries have to have developing countries being on the table to deal with global issues. All countries should seek economic restructuring, instead of blaming competition from other countries for their own problems.