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Global governance reform at core of Xi's G20 summit speech, say experts

2019-06-29 12:10:00 Source:Xinhua Author:
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Chinese President Xi Jinping's speech at the G20 Osaka summit on Friday offers direction for improving global governance and boosting economic growth across the world, say experts.

Addressing the 14th summit of the Group of 20 (G20) major economies held in the Japanese city of Osaka, Xi called on the countries to explore driving forces for growth, improve global governance, remove development bottlenecks, and properly address differences, while pledging China's further opening-up.

Twenty years after the G20 was established in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis and ten years after it became a premier platform for international economic cooperation, Xi's speech comes at a time when the global economy is once again at a critical crossroads.

The speech provides direction for improving global governance and the global trading system, according to Swaran Singh, professor at School of International Studies at the Delhi-based Jawaharlal Nehru University in India.

"Xi's much anticipated speech at Osaka G20 summit aptly provides a direction for improving global trading system" to avoid "being myopic and guided by short-term interests," said the professor.

He "especially underlined the need to promote a sense of responsibility in order to enhance confidence in the market and guide the development of economic globalization in right direction," he added.

For improving global governance and enhancing a G20 leadership role, Singh noted, "President Xi most aptly underlined the need for G20 economies to persevere in pursuing cooperation in reform and innovation so as to address their shared problems."

Commenting on Xi's speech, Srikanth Kondapalli, also a professor with Jawaharlal Nehru University, called it "a very comprehensive speech," and that "unimpeded trade is the main focus."

"The speech was a very powerful way of communicating to the world that we need to have measures to remove all barriers for trade ... and we need to strengthen the multilateral institutions like WTO, the World Trade Organization," he said.

The academic said what impresses him most is Xi's proposal for economic growth.

Xi "also put up an alternative by suggesting that we need to move towards innovation. Every country needs to restructure their economic policies and to do a lot of innovation," he said.

Hans von Helldorff, speaker of the board of the Federal Association of German Silk Road Initiative (BVDSI), said Xi's speech sends a strong message that is different from Washington's on global trade.

China's message is for multilateralism and an open rule-based trade, he said. "Amid the surge of populism and isolationism, China is further opening up its market to businesses around the world while building the Belt and Road. This ... will bring a lot of opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises in Germany and European companies."

"Trade wars are not a reasonable choice and will benefit nobody," he added.

Alexander Lomanov, chief researcher at the Center for Asia-Pacific Studies of the National Institute of World Economy and International Relations at the Russian Academy of Sciences, called Xi's listing measures for China to open up further "an invitation to the whole world to expand cooperation with China."

The measures -- including shortening negative list on foreign investment, creating more pilot free trade zones and expanding imports -- "together form a very competent, strategically-oriented and promising economic policy. All this demonstrates the advantages of cooperation with China," he said.

Meanwhile, Xi's speech "is a call for G20 members to accept the rules of the game before the world economy becomes completely unbalanced, to improve global governance and to give globalization processes the right direction."

Adhere Cavince, an international relations expert in Kenya, said Xi "once again took the frontline to champion long-term development which could hoist economic well-being and shared prosperity for the whole of humanity."

"By emphasizing a common interest approach rather than differences, President Xi has laid the ground for a consensus-driven" approach that would benefit all, he noted.

"A cooperative and consultative approach to international affairs would also steer the world away from military confrontation and economic crisis into more productive paradigms such as economic inclusion and prosperity," he added.

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