Chinese premier warns against shunning globalisation

28 Jun 17

Chinese premier Li Keqiang warned against shunning economic globalisation, which he said had been a “great facilitator” in China opening up over the past 30 years.

With the world’s second largest economy looking to relax market access barriers to foreign investment, Li said it was important to “achieve inclusive growth we must uphold economic globalisation”.

“Restricting free trade brings unequal trade,” he told delegates at the World Economic Forum’s 10th annual summer conference in Dalian, China, yesterday.

Speaking out against the recent groundswell of support for protectionism around the world – such as Donald Trump’s election as the US president last year – he said: “When we twist our ankle we can’t just blame the ground and stop walking.”

The theme of this year’s so-called ‘annual meeting of the new champions’ is inclusive growth.

“We should take into account each other’s national conditions,” he said. “Accommodate each other’s interests. This will enable us to find a win-win situation.”

He also ruled out any possibility that China may resort to a “massive” stimulus in the face of risks as the world’s second-largest economy.

“We have identified risks in some sectors and dealt with them appropriately,” he said. “We will continue to implement a proactive fiscal policy and prudent monetary policy,” the premier said. “We will not resort to massive stimulus measures.”

He said China was prioritising employment to achieve inclusive growth. This was “because employment is the foundation for achieving inclusive growth”.

Li added: “Without relatively adequate employment there would be no inclusive growth.

“We're making sure there’s at least one member of each family who gets a new job," Li told the audience in Dalian.

In a session today at the event, Min Zhu, president of the National Institute of Financial Research, said he was optimistic about China’s growth next year.

“This year growth will be around 6.7% and next year it will be around the same number," he told delegates.

Li Daokui, dean of Schwarzman College at Tsinghua University, said there could be a small rise next year to 6.9%.

Although he was concerned about what the Trump presidency would mean for world economics and his interest in tackling North Korea.

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