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Xinhua Silk Road
International Relation

High hopes on G20, APEC for stronger solidarity in stormy age

November 15, 2022


Abstract : As world leaders are gathering in Southeast Asia for two high-profile global meetings this week, the international community is expecting them to pool their wisdom and step up efforts to tackle a multitude of pressing common challenges and chart a pathway to global recovery and common development.

* In the face of overlapping crises, there is an urgent call for a robust, well-organized and balanced collective global response to these challenges.

* With the COVID-19 pandemic still causing human loss and weighing on global economy, a collective solution to global problems should give priority to economic recovery and development.

* The two meetings are expected to reach substantive outcomes that will deliver tangible benefits to developing and less developed countries and regions, and help boost confidence in global recovery.

JAKARTA/HONG KONG, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- As world leaders are gathering in Southeast Asia for two high-profile global meetings this week, the international community is expecting them to pool their wisdom and step up efforts to tackle a multitude of pressing common challenges and chart a pathway to global recovery and common development.

The 17th Group of 20 (G20) Summit will be hosted on Tuesday and Wednesday in Indonesia's resort island of Bali. It is followed by the 29th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting in the Thai capital of Bangkok.

In the face of overlapping crises such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, intensifying geopolitical tensions, a fragile global economy and increasing climate woes, building consensus and enhancing coordination among countries, especially the world's major economies, to lead global efforts will be key focal points at the two meetings. Meanwhile, there is an urgent call for a robust, well-organized and balanced collective global response to these challenges.

As experts have observed, to tide over difficulties, the G20 and APEC members need to work together to find effective solutions and take joint actions to facilitate cooperation. They also hope for a bigger and more positive role that China can play in achieving strong, sustainable, inclusive and balanced global development.

Photo taken on Nov. 12, 2022 shows the logo for the upcoming G20 summit outside Apurva Kempinski, the main venue for the summit in Bali, Indonesia. (Xinhua/Wang Yiliang)

SOLIDARITY NEEDED MORE THAN EVER

Across the planet, the coronavirus is still spreading while the global economy is staggering towards a possible deep recession. What's worse, the world sees growing attempts to form exclusive blocs, clamor for decoupling and incite confrontations, which have severely undermined global solidarity and hampered international cooperation.

In a recent interview with Xinhua, former Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said the world today faces unprecedented difficulties, and the fate of countries worldwide is linked, with a crisis in one country affecting other countries.

At this critical moment, members of the G20 and APEC, both major platforms for international economic cooperation, need to take the two gatherings as an opportunity to bridge differences, enhance communication, forge global consensus and work in unity.

To better deal with the challenges, they are urged to take joint actions to improve global governance, strengthen coordination with each other in such fields as the fight against the pandemic, macro-economic policies, trade and investment facilitation and climate change, and keep the global economic system stable.

The G20, which is composed of the world's major industrial and emerging economies and represents more than 80 percent of the world's gross domestic product, over 75 percent of international trade, and about two-thirds of the world population, has to take the leadership and shoulder more responsibilities, just like what it did following the 2008 financial crisis.

A staff member loads a cargo container of China Railway Express to a train in Malaszewicze, Poland, Oct. 15, 2021. (Xinhua/Zhou Nan)

"Today we need international cooperation on all these fronts more than we've ever needed, but international cooperation is in short supply," said Peter Drysdale, head of the East Asian Bureau of Economic Research at Australian National University.

It is of great significance to overcome geopolitical tensions and work together on key issues to stabilize the international economy and international politics, Drysdale said.

DEVELOPMENT-LED PATH TO RECOVERY

In October, World Bank President David Malpass warned that the global economy is "dangerously close" to a recession, as inflation remains elevated, interest rates are rising, and a growing debt burden hits the developing world, noting that the organization has lowered its 2023 global growth forecast from 3 percent to 1.9 percent.

With the COVID-19 pandemic still causing human loss and weighing on global economy, a collective solution to global problems should give priority to economic recovery and development, including open trade and investment, infrastructure and green finance, observers said.

The G20 Bali Summit, with the theme "Recover Together, Recover Stronger," will focus on strengthening the global health architecture, accelerating sustainable energy transition and promoting digital transformation. It aims to address the widening development gap between rich and poor countries.

Such priority is also on the table of the APEC economies. Deep economic integration, structural reform, regulatory coherence and digitalization are key areas that APEC has been focusing on over the years, which are also positive aspects for helping the region go through this tough time, APEC Secretariat Executive Director Rebecca Sta Maria said.

The Forum on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and Higher-level Opening-up is held in Shanghai, east China, Nov. 5, 2022. (Xinhua/Li Jing)

Over the past decades, countries in Asia-Pacific have joined forces to expand cooperation and promote regional integration, making the Asia-Pacific the world's most dynamic and promising economy. They have established an ASEAN-centered regional cooperation platform, launched the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and are working towards the goal of a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific.

Coming into effect on Jan. 1, the RCEP delivers increasingly prominent dividends to member economies through tariff concessions and trade facilitation. Official data showed that China's trade with other RCEP members in the first eight months has reached around 1.2 trillion U.S. dollars, accounting for 30.5 percent of China's total foreign trade.

China, since joining APEC 31 years ago, has been firmly committed to regional partnerships and free trade and investment, making significant contributions to a multilateral trading system and an open world economy.

Ky Sereyvath, director-general of the Institute of China Studies at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said China is the stabilizer of global value chains, and has always shared the fruits of development with the rest of the world. "It will importantly contribute to quickening the global economic recovery from the pandemic," the economist added.

This aerial photo taken on July 4, 2022 shows the Volkswagen Anhui MEB (Modular Electric Drive Matrix) plant under construction in the Hefei area of the pilot free trade zone in east China's Anhui Province. (Xinhua)

NO ONE LEFT BEHIND

The lingering pandemic has caused multiple crises in the world, especially in developing countries. In a report in July, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization said that in 2021, the number of people suffering from hunger rose by 46 million to 828 million, which would push the international community further away from reaching the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

In this context, the global community needs to work closely together to strengthen cooperation in areas such as food security, COVID-19 response and vaccines and poverty alleviation, and advanced countries should fulfill their pledges on development assistance to developing countries with the purpose of making global development more balanced and inclusive.

For the past years, China has done substantial work in stimulating development of poor countries. It has fulfilled its commitments by helping improve infrastructure in these countries, sharing knowledge and technologies with locals and providing anti-pandemic support such as masks and vaccines. China has also raised a series of proposals such as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the Global Development Initiative to strengthen partnerships, promote connectivity and advance common development.

A World Bank report has showed that the BRI could help lift 7.6 million people out of extreme poverty and 32 million people out of moderate poverty globally, and boost trade by 2.8 to 9.7 percent for participating countries and between 1.7 and 6.2 percent for the world.

Chinese experts work in a paddy field in the demonstration area of Nariou village in Burkina Faso, July 13, 2021. (Xinhua)

Facing mixed and complex challenges, the G20 and APEC meetings are expected to reach substantive outcomes that will deliver tangible benefits to developing and less developed countries and regions, and help boost confidence in global recovery.

Indonesia's Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto said the country's G20 presidency this year is to strengthen multilateral system and effective global partnerships to ensure that the world economy remains open, fair, mutually beneficial, and that no one is left behind, especially the poor and vulnerable.

"As we have learned from the lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic, no one is safe until everyone is safe," said Koh King Kee, president of Center for New Inclusive Asia, a Malaysian think tank, urging the developed world to help vulnerable countries overcome their lack of capacities and build the desired infrastructure to meet future health challenges.

Indonesia aims to create a more inclusive global economic recovery, particularly through the digitization of small businesses, expanding financial inclusion, and encouraging cooperation in innovation and knowledge and technology transfer to accelerate global access to affordable and clean technologies, Chairman of the Indonesian think tank Asia Innovation Study Center Bambang Suryono said. (Video reporters: Guo Xinhui, Sun Lei, Gu Lu, Wang Yaguang, Ta Na; video editors: Jia Xiaotong, Zhu Jianhui, Hui peipei, Miao Zhuang)

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