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September 13, 2009

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Davos experts in optimistic mood

PARTICIPANTS in the 2009 Summer Davos forum in northeast China's coastal city of Dalian showed cautious optimism about the world economy.

Many agreed the world should strive for a sustained economic growth via such means as the development of green economy and new technology.

Meanwhile, although China's economy has managed to grow relatively fast this year, it still faces challenges, they said.

Xia Deren, secretary of the Communist Party of Dalian Municipal Committee, said at yesterday's closing ceremony that the forum would help "boost the confidence of the international community in fighting the ongoing global economic downturn and give a strong push to the world economy's revival."

The three-day meeting attracted some 1,400 participants from more than 80 countries and regions.

John Zhao, chief executive officer of Hony Capital, said that unlike the deleveraging issue facing developed economies, the major challenge for China currently was to improve its industrial structure.

His view was echoed by Yao Jingyuan, chief economist of China's National Bureau of Statistics, who said "it was not difficult for the Chinese economy to expand at a relatively quick pace, but it was hard for China to improve its industrial structure."

Although China's economy has managed to grow relatively fast this year, it still faces the challenge of making it develop in a more balanced, coordinated and sustainable way, said Stephen Roach, Morgan Stanley's Asian chairman.

Official figures showed that investment contributed 6.2 percentage points of China's 7.1 percent year-on-year gross domestic product growth in the first half this year due to the government's 4-trillion-yuan (US$586 billion) stimulus package to bolster the economy, and consumption 3.8 percentage points.

Exports, which slid for eight straight months, dragged down growth by 2.9 percentage points.

Liu Xiaoguang, president and chief executive officer of Beijing-based Capital Group, said the green economy would become the new global economic growth locomotive.


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