Sun, 26 Sep 2021

by Xinhua writer Liu Lina, Ni Yuanshi

BEIJING, July 31 (Xinhua) -- As a consequence of COVID-19, the world is undergoing the worst economic recession in decades and globalization is becoming fragile. Building resilient globalization requires new international cooperation, in which China will continue to play a constructive role, experts said in a recent forum held in Beijing.

GLOBALIZATION AMID CHALLENGES

According to World Economic Outlook by International Monetary Fund, world economy experienced an estimated contraction of 3.3 percent in 2020. Distrust among countries rose amid complicated international competition while free trade is doubted.

Has the globalization fragmentized or even stagnated? What is the future of international cooperation?

"Globalization is an irreversible historical trend, though with twists and turns," said Chen Deming, chairman of China Association of Enterprise with Foreign Investment and former minister of commerce of China, on the 7th Annual China and Globalization Forum hosted by the Center for China and Globalization (CCG) in Beijing on July 30, which drew around 400 participants including foreign diplomats, Chinese officials, scholars and leaders from international organizations and businesses.

"In an information age (with) rapid scientific and technological progress, international cooperation is the only route for development." "Human beings must cooperate, and the trend of globalization will not stop," Chen said.

"But without effective governance, globalization will be hindered by populism and narrow nationalism. This is a complicated challenge to globalization that we have to face together," he noted.

"The COVID-19 situation is still grim, and climate change issue is even pressing. Global development faces many uncertainties. Thus, international cooperation is even more necessary," said Wang Huiyao, president of the CCG.

"A new research by the World Bank found that the pandemic actually had many countries integrated into global economy rather than separated productive force. Trade will provide powerful momentum for world economic recovery," said Martin Raiser, World Bank's country director for China, Mongolia and South Korea.

Raiser's opinion is echoed by panelists from multinational corporations.

"Speaking of globalization, our world is already indivisible, with global supply and commodity chain deeply integrated. The next stage will be development of digital industrialization and digitalization of the industry. Globalization will provide essential structural support for global market integration," said Zhao Bin, senior vice president of Qualcomm, a global leading company in telecommunication industry.

According to a recent report released by Boston Consulting Group, the integrated circuit industry chain has become the industrial chain with the most concentrated capital in the world. So it requires a high degree of cross-regional cooperation. No single country is capable to master the technology and capacity of every link of the semiconductor industry by itself.

"Globalization has entered a new stage, facing four major challenges: environmental issues, geopolitics, financial crisis, and cyberattacks," said Zhu Guangyao, China's former vice finance minister.

"The pandemic revealed the importance of crisis management in multilateral institutions. We need to restart the global system to overcome the crisis," said Leslie Maasdorp, vice president and CFO of the New Development Bank.

DIGITAL DESTINY FOR ECONOMY

According to experts, COVID-19 brings challenges to world economy as well as new opportunities of globalization at the same time.

In the 70 years of globalization after World War II, emerging countries gained economic growth and broke the original balance of the world, and now it is the time to find a new balance to boost the economy, said Chen.

More experts see significant potential of digital economy on world economic recovery.

By 2022, 65 percent of the global gross domestic product (GDP) will be digitalized, estimated Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), a global provider of market intelligence.

"All countries have increased investment in digital economy under the impact of the pandemic," Zhu noted.

"We should absolutely have confidence in economic recovery," said Zhao, adding that "to a large extend, the pandemic accelerated the evolution to digital economy which in return will contribute to economic recovery."

CHINA: A CONTINUOUS CONSTRUCTIVE CONTRIBUTOR

China has participated in, contributed to and benefited from the globalization in the past decades, and will continue to be a constructive contributor in the new phase of globalization.

In 2020, China was the only major economy that registered positive economic growth, and in the first half of 2021, China's GDP reached 53.2 trillion yuan (about 8.23 trillion U.S. dollars), showing strong resilience and injecting energy into the accelerated recovery of the global economy.

"In the past 40 years of working with China, we have seen that China had fully assumed its social and environmental responsibilities and had been constantly optimizing its project planning. The country has benefited greatly from its own investment in infrastructure. We would like to introduce China's experience to other countries," said Raiser.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of China's accession to the World Trade Organization, Chen said, noting that despite a "difficult climb ahead" amid the deterioration of the international environment, "we should have confidence, patience and tolerance for existing problems."

"At the same time, through joint governance, we should push globalization to a better track led by modern technology, digital economy and other high-tech technologies," said Chen.

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