World Economic Forum (WEF) President Borge Brende said on Thursday that he was optimistic about the economic outlook for China in the medium and long-term.

“We are expecting that the measures taken by China and the Chinese authorities will lead to a revival of growth” and are optimistic about the medium- and long-term economic development in China, Brende said, adding that as for the rest of the world, “the coming year is going to be a bumpy year.”

The WEF president made the remarks as data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on July 15 that China’s gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 2.5 percent year on year in the first half of 2022.

“The global recovery is slowing and it is now becoming a weaker and weaker recovery. This is also influencing the Chinese economy that is growing more slowly,” Brende, a former minister of foreign affairs of Norway, said via a video conference.

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), global growth is projected to slow from an estimated 6.1 percent in 2021 to 3.6 percent in 2022 and 2023, 0.8 and 0.2 percentage points lower for 2022 and 2023 than the global lender projected in January.

FOREIGN BUSINESS IN CHINA

Speaking of China’s current business environment for foreign enterprises, Brende said that the Chinese market is “a big home market,” and that for many companies, China is of huge interest, both for foreign direct investments and for manufacturing.

The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, in its annual “European Business in China Business Confidence Survey 2022” released in June, said that most European companies posted positive revenues and were profitable in 2021.

The WEF president emphasized that China’s role in stabilizing global economic growth amidst multi-fold challenges was crucial.

“If you look at the past three decades, China’s growth has been historic and we have not seen any country in history that has been eradicating poverty like we have seen in China,” Brende said.

The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Report 2022, released on July 7, estimated that an additional 75 million to 95 million people could fall into extreme poverty this year.

China announced last year that absolute poverty had been eradicated in the world’s most populous country and that it had lifted the final 98.99 million impoverished rural residents out of poverty by the end of 2020.

“The Chinese leadership is not only focusing on growth, they’re also looking at the quality of growth, it needs to decouple from growth in CO2 emissions, it also has to be more inclusive, it has to trickle down to the regions, to the periphery, and it also needs to create jobs for the young and its more and more educated population,” Brende said.

“China’s role in securing global growth has been incredible … What happens in China economically has a huge impact on the rest of the world, and that will continue because it is the second largest economy,” said Brende.

CHINA’S DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE

The WEF president also hailed the China-proposed Global Development Initiative (GDI) as crucially important in boosting international cooperation and supporting the least developed and developing countries.

Last year, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the GDI at the United Nations, aiming to contribute to strengthening international development cooperation and accelerating the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

“This initiative from China is very important and we really need to be very clear about supporting the least developed countries and the emerging economies because we have seen that capital is not flowing in as it used to” as COVID-19 has led to a situation for the first time in three decades that extreme poverty is growing, Brende said.

“It is incredibly important that we get on track again when it comes to meeting the sustainable development goals that are there and should be met by 2030,” he added.

Brende highlighted climate crisis and reviving global economic growth.

“The only way to revive economic growth is that we continue with a win-win thinking: what is good for one country is good for another one. We have to collaborate and continue to trade with each other because if we don’t do that, we will pay a high price and are going to shave off a lot of growth which is going to create even more poverty,” he added.

Originally published by Xinhua