Saturday, November 14, 2009

China takes leading role in global recovery: Asia-Pacific business leaders

By He Liu and Wang Jingzhong

SINGAPORE, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- With its economy rebounding sharply in recent months as a result of the massive stimulus measures taken by the government, China is taking a leading role in the global recovery through a "balanced" contribution, said international business leaders at a summit in Singapore on the sidelines of the leaders meeting of the APEC.

STORING UP INVESTORS' CONFIDENCE

As the biggest event for the business community in the Asia-Pacific, the APEC CEO Summit this year saw over 1,000 of the world's top business leaders converging in Singapore to discuss ways to address the present economic crisis and fashion a stronger post-crisis financial and economic architecture, with the theme of "Rebuilding the Global Economy: Crisis and Opportunity".

As a global recovery from the financial crisis is in process, "China is taking a leading role," said Deb Henretta, Group President of Procter & Gamble Asia, in an exclusive interview with Xinhua during the CEO Summit.

She said the Chinese government has taken "early and fast" actions right after the economic crisis started to hit, which helped to set the stage and to lead the growth of the Asia-Pacific region.

Herman Ude, the CEO of DHL Global Forwarding, shared the same view with Henretta that China's stimulus package has helped store up investors' confidence in world economy.

"China plays an increasing role by providing the world with new products which come from Chinese companies," Ude said.

Besides, the increasing spending of Chinese consumers that encourages imports also gives some "relief" to other countries that had declined in their export.

"BALANCED " CONTRIBUTION

Given the fact that China's economy accounting for less than 8 percent of the world, experts said China's contribution to the world economy is not very big in terms of gross product, but the country is already making a significant contribution to the increment in the world's total gross product.

"With the role it has played in the global financial market, and with its domestic demand starting to pick up, China brings in a balanced contribution to the world going forward," Rahul Gupta, President & CEO of GE Money in Singapore and Malaysia, told Xinhua.

Robert Prieto, Senior Vice President of Fluor Corporation, specified what he believed to be the ways that China has driven impetus into the world economy.

"First, China has played an important role in stopping deterioration in the Chinese economy itself," he said.

What's more, China has dealt with "its immediateness effectively" by making investments and infrastructure in certain social safety nets that help further transform the Chinese economic position for the future.

Last but not least, "China is being a good regional and global partner" in tackling the financial crisis by working with other governments in stabilizing the global financial system and building up the confidence in the revival of the world economy, according to Prieto.

  GROWING IMPORTANCE AS SOURCE OF DEMAND

Along with a trend of outsourcing and trade chaining, China has seen an increase in export market share in recent years, which, as pointed out by Ricardo Charvel, member of the APEC Business Advisory Council, some economies have considered as a threat to their domestic industries.

However, Charvel argued that those people have failed to see the importance of China as a market for their products.

Under the influence of the economic stimulus measures taken since the financial crisis started to hit, China's domestic demand has strengthened and the economy has increased demand for imports.

"When China strengthens its internal market, it's crucial for the recovery for the economic growth worldwide," said Charvel.

Because of China's growing importance as a source of demand, and as a growingly important final market, the world will benefit from its economic growth, experts said.

"The stronger China's economy is, the better the regional and overall economy will perform," said Prieto of Fluor Corporation.

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