With the G20 summit just days away, a leading EU official is suggesting trade expansion is likely going to be a major focus for the EU at the event in Hangzhou. CRI's Victor Ning sat down with G20 Coordinator and the head of Economic & Financial Affairs at the EU Delegation to China, Peter Weiss. Commenting on the EU's priority to push for progress in Hangzhou, Weiss says expanding trade will be crucial to further stimulate global economic growth. "We believe that we should have a further push on trade. As it is well known, trade has been particularly weak in the last couple of years, for various reasons, and we believe that pushing forward the trade agenda is very important to sustain growth at the global level."
To achieve that end, the official says creating a level playing field for all economic players is crucial, which means trade protectionism should be strongly resisted. Weiss also says the EU will urge G20 members to maintain healthy debt levels and optimize public budgets to reallocate revenues and expenditures to better serve sustainable growth. Structural reform is widely recognized as a key means to upgrade the global economy.
Weiss notes China has been actively implementing such a policy. "There is the area of structural reforms, where we believe this is the means how we can achieve higher growth and higher productivity growth. Again, we are very much in line with the interests of many other G20 countries in this area in particular. China has forcefully pushed this point during the Chinese presidency."
The G20 presidency rotates annually among members, in a way that ensures balance in regional representation. The presiding, or host country, is responsible for bringing together a G20 agenda in consultation with other members. China holds the presidency this year and has proposed the theme of working "Towards an Innovative, Invigorated, Interconnected and Inclusive World Economy."
Weiss says the theme serves as more than just a slogan or a marketing device, but also as an effective guideline to shape the upcoming G20 discussions. Weiss believes China will add a much-needed perspective of the developing world to the Hangzhou summit. "Bringing the perspectives of the emerging market economies and promoting their interests will also help to stimulate global growth and that will have positive feedback effects for all G20 members. So this emerging market economy perspective is a particular view that China can contribute to the G20 process, and they have done it in a very intelligent and outspoken way."
With China playing an increasing role in global affairs, Weiss adds a confluence of interests between China and other G20 members in these areas will ensure that Hangzhou will host an effective and successful summit.