Photo taken on Aug 25, 2016 shows the Hangzhou Olympic and International Expo Center in the Binjiang District of Hangzhou, capital of East China’s Zhejiang province. Hangzhou is the host city for the upcoming G20 Summit.[Photo/Xinhua]
BRUSSELS — The upcoming G20 summit will offer a huge opportunity for China and the European Union (EU) to initiate new growth approaches, experts from the European Institute for Asian Studies (EIAS) said.
Against the backdrop of weak global economic recovery and multiple political uncertainties, leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies are scheduled to meet in China’s eastern city of Hangzhou on Sept 4-5, trying to take the global economy out of a low-growth trap.
China and the EU, though facing some different economic challenges, are looking for similar solutions, Hannes Dekeyser, program coordinator of the European Institute for Asian Studies (EIAS), told Xinhua in a recent interview.
China is trying to switch its economic model from export-driven to consumption-driven growth, while Europe has been struggling to reinvigorate its economy since the global financial crisis.
“They both look for innovation, infrastructure investments, and they both want to forge a new industrial revolution,” he said.
Therefore, the key concepts that were raised by China during its first presidency of G20, which was to create an “innovative, invigorated, interconnected and inclusive” world economy, are very rightfully there, the expert said.
Despite working together to push forward the G20 agenda, China and the EU may also contribute to the multilateral platform by finding a constructive way to settle trade disputes.
One of the main problems the Europeans concerned most these days is overcapacity, especially in the steel sector, Dekeyser pointed out, noting that China has said the sluggish economic growth, instead of global trade, should be blamed for.
China and the EU have agreed to create a bilateral working group on steel during the 18th EU-China Summit in Beijing earlier this year, according to the expert.
It is a kind of platform between the two sides to keep alive the debates and the discussions and monitor decisions related to the steel overproduction.
In his view, once the platform succeeds in solving the thorny steel dispute between China and the EU, the approach could be further applied to similar disputes between other countries and regions.
“What you see is a tendency towards new innovative concepts,” Axel Goethals, CEO of the EIAS, told Xinhua, “so it is time for China and the EU to initiate new approaches.”
Taking the global overcapacity for instance, Goethals said the issue could be viewed as being over focused on quantity.
“It brings populism, and this short-term populist vision should be changed by a long-term one of quality,” he said.
Noting that China is changing from a quantitative growth model to a quality growth model, and Europe also is trying to seek better quality of life for people, the Brussels-based think tank CEO suggested China and the EU use the G20 platform to change the global focus from quantity to quality.
“And I think this would be a new approach to be brought to the G20,” he said.
“There is no perfect system in the world. But mankind ... is always learning,” he said.
To achieve better global economic governance, the expert said it is more important to have things improved not by criticizing in a negative way but rather by improving where it is not perfect yet.
“And I think Europe and China are complementing each other on that matter,” he said.