A report issued over the weekend by the 2018 Boao Forum says that China will continue to be the key driver of the global economic growth going ahead, giving officials an opportune moment to censure the United States for trade protectionism.
The “Emerging Economy Development 2018 Annual Report” (新兴经济体发展2018年度报告) said that based on international Monetary Forecasts the E11 (11 emerging economies) posted GDP growth of 5.1% in 2017, 1.4 percentage points ahead of global economic growth.
According to the report the E11 growth rate in 2017 marked an acceleration of 0.5 percentage points compared to 2016 for the first rebound since 2011, with China, the largest member of the E11, making a signal contribution with GDP growth of 6.9%.
The report said that China accounted for a third of global economic growth in 2017, continuing to be the largest contributor to the world economy.
It predicts that E11 economies will continue to see an improving performance in 2018, and that growth rates will continue to rise, with the IMF forecasting GDP growth rate of over 5% for 2018 – 2022, and Chinese growth of 6.5% in 2018.
It noted, however, that E11 economies face a number of key challenges, chief amongst them continued growth in anti-globalisation sentiment, and in particular trade and investment protectionism.
The report authors also point to uncertainty in relation to the spillover effects of US fiscal and monetary policy adjustments for the global economy, as well as whether or not external growth will continue and investment growth can be reconfigured.
Zhou Wenzhong (周文重), chief secretary of the Boao Forum, used the launch of the report as an opportunity to launch an attack on trade protectionism, amidst escalating trade tensions between China and the United States.
“Trade protectionism cannot become a sustainable force for economic development, but will instead restrict the sustainable growth of economies,” said Zhou. “Asia’s open economic model must avoid succumbing to the trap of trade protectionism.”