BEIJING, May 14 (Xinhua) -- Facing the COVID-19 pandemic, the Asian economy has shown strong economic resilience with China continuing to play a vital role of economic growth engine, according to a report by the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) and the Online Symposium on Asian Development Prospects and Challenges under the Pandemic held on May 8.
The Asian Economic Outlook and Integration Progress Annual Report 2020 released by the BFA projected that the development of consumer and digital technologies as well as economic restructuring will help China's economy to recover after the pandemic, bringing more opportunities for the country at the same time.
-- Asian economy enjoys strong economic resilience
According to the Report 2020, despite the global economic slowdown in 2019, Asia's economic growth was still remarkable compared with other regions, with a weighted real GDP growth rate 1.1 percentage points higher than that of the world as a whole.
Calculated by purchasing power parity, Asia's economic share in the world rose to 49.5 percent in 2019 and is projected to further increase in 2020 to more than half of the world total for the first time, Xu Xiujun, a researcher of Institute of World Economics and Politics Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, made a conservative forecast.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic, since its outbreak in early 2020, has greatly impacted the world economy, including Asia.
Zhang Tao, Deputy Managing Director of IMF, pointed out that there is still a possibility for Asia's growth rate to fall below zero in 2020 which has never happened over the past 60 years, because of the recession on Asian real economy especially the service industry and the foreign demand decline.
-- China continues to play the role of economic growth engine
The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted the world economy, but also created opportunities for innovation and reform globally. At this moment, China will continue to play the role of economic growth engine.
The Report 2020 pointed out that although the pandemic has hurt economic growth in the first half of 2020, the development of consumer and digital technologies as well as economic restructuring will help China's economy recovery. This will in turn drive a recovery of the world economy, creating more room and opportunities for development globally.
According to a survey made by Deloitte, 75 percent enterprises in Asia Pacific region will not change their investment plans in China after the pandemic because of the advantages in China’s industries, labor force, technical innovation and digital economy development.
Vice Chairman Zhou Xiaochuan stated that, facing the grave challenges, China has actively devoted itself to the global cooperation in fighting the pandemic, determined to fully implement measures to maintain normal economic operation in China such as social relief programs to protect people's lives and safety and maintain stability of industrial chains.
China also sent out positive signals to the outside world on deepening market reform and furthering opening up, making arduous efforts in tackling the pandemic, which has made important significance for promoting global economic recovery, Zhou added.
-- Strong cooperation between regions and countries become more important
The symposium sent out positive signals to strengthen openness and cooperation between Asian and global economies.
The novel coronavirus epidemic has brought a big economic challenge to Asian countries and caused severe influences on trade, investment and human migration. This crucial moment calls for solidarity and global leadership, said Li Baodong, the BFA Secretary General.
As the region with the most economic activities in the world, Asian economies have been active in boosting regional trade cooperation. On November 4, 2019, the 3rd Leadership Meeting of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) was held in Bangkok, Thailand and a joint statement was issued announcing that 15 member states had concluded all text-based negotiations and substantial market access negotiations, with formal signing in 2020. The achievements of the RCEP will greatly promote mutual trade and investment in the region and enhance the development of the world economy.
Srisamoot, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Thailand and Toshinori Doi, Director of the ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office also talked about regional and global cooperation mechanism under the pandemic, emphasizing on the principles of inclusiveness, collaboration and openness.
Huang Gencheng, BFA BOD Director and Former Deputy PM of Singapore, said that the novel coronavirus pandemic is a wake-up call for the international community with urgent need for global solidarity to address this pandemic. This crisis connects countries in an unprecedented way. At this moment, it's important for the world to deepen cooperation to promote global economy recovery and avoid a long-term recession by removing barriers, freeing trade, stabilizing the global supply chain. The countries should promote regional economic integration and strengthen international coordination and cooperation to brace a new beautiful world after the pandemic. (Edited by Gao Jingyan with Xinhua Silk Road, firstname.lastname@example.org)