WTO head believes China’s economy would support increased global growth

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the director-general of the World Trade Organization (WTO), has stated that China is crucial to accelerating global economic growth. On the fringes of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos on Thursday, Okonjo-Iweala gave an exclusive interview to Xinhua. “China has always been able to come up with instruments to help stimulate the economy, and we’re fully expecting that the government still has room to do quite a lot,” she said. She mentioned that China has already made some steps, and that the Chinese economy is anticipated “to be able to begin to rebound.”

 

China has grown to be the world’s largest goods trader and a significant trading partner for more than 140 nations and regions since joining the WTO more than 20 years ago. On average, China’s trade contributions to global economic growth each year have approached 30%. Okonjo-Iweala stated, “Whatever happens to China impacts the world and that’s why it’s in the interest of everyone for the Chinese economy to perform well,” emphasizing China’s crucial role in promoting global commerce and economic growth. The National Bureau of Statistics reports that China’s GDP grew by 5.2% in 2023 compared to the previous year, indicating a robust recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Compared to its April projection of 1.7 percent, the Geneva-based trade group stated in October that merchandise trade will expand by just 0.8 percent in 2023. It forecast a 3.3% increase in goods trade this year. Last year, when we projected a 0.8 percent expansion in global trade, the performance of the global goods trade was a little underwhelming. According to Okonjo-Iweala, we were more optimistic about 2024 and projected a 3.3 percent growth. However, we believe this will have an effect given the interruptions we’ve seen in the Red Sea and the Suez Canal, as well as the rising prices of container freight, shipping, and insurance, she said.

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