Tue, 29 Sep 2020

by Xinhua writer Ma Qian

BEIJING, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- The world economy has been lingering in the doldrums amid the COVID-19 pandemic and headwinds against globalization, and open cooperation and free trade worldwide are more urgently needed for a sustainable global economic recovery.

"The global economy is now at a fork in the road." The pandemic could leave "deep and lasting scars" in advanced economies and poor countries alike, due to the huge sense of insecurity of businesses and massive political volatility, according to Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff.

In contrast to the striking slump in advanced economies, China has largely put the outbreak under control and returned to growth through an orderly resumption of work and production.

Furthermore, China's unwavering commitment to reform and opening up has brought more opportunities for international cooperation and development, and boosted global business and investor confidence in the future of the Chinese economy.

In addition to market reforms and further opening up, China has strived to rebalance its economy with a focus on bolstering domestic consumption and services.

Chinese President Xi Jinping floated in May the new economic development pattern of "dual circulation," or the domestic market as the mainstay while the domestic and foreign markets work to boost each other.

The new model is widely seen as China's efforts to lessen its reliance on investment and exports, better guard against external shocks and reinforce its economic resilience.

Beijing has on many occasions stressed that "dual circulation" is by no means a closed domestic loop and reaffirmed that opening up is a fundamental national policy.

As a result of stronger regulation based on market principles, China's business environment has constantly improved, offering a broad platform for overseas companies to grow in the country.

In the World Bank's Doing Business 2020 report, China ranked 31st among 190 economies, a breathtaking rise of 15 spots from 2019.

Foreign direct investment into the Chinese mainland, in actual use, stood at about 78.4 billion U.S. dollars during the first seven months of this year, up 0.5 percent year on year, reversing the decline reported in the first half of the year, official data showed.

A bevy of multinational enterprises have also walked the talk of their confidence in Chinese economy with new investments and further expansion in the Chinese market.

Swiss food giant Nestle announced new investments of around 107 million U.S. dollars to enhance its product portfolio in China in late May. Japanese clothing brand Uniqlo opened 19 stores in China on a single day in mid-August. And a majority of American companies remain committed to the China market, according to the China Business Report 2020 released last week by the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai.

However, as China is proactively promoting economic globalization, some are trying to fan trade protectionism and hype up the so-called de-coupling theory, encumbering global supply chains and economic recovery.

In the long run, economic globalization featuring win-win cooperation is the irresistible trend of the time. The international community should have the vision to uphold multilateralism, and promote free trade and an open world economy.

In his speech delivered at the 2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services earlier this month, Xi has promised that China will further ease market access for the services sector, step up intellectual property protection and boost growth in the digital and sharing economies.

Amid the shockwaves of COVID-19, the Chinese economy has served as an engine and anchor of stability for the global economy. In a post-pandemic world, China's commitment to broader reforms and wider opening up will continue to inject fresh growth opportunities into the global economy and create more space for humanity's common development.

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