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Experts hail efforts to safeguard multilateralism, open economy

Updated: Jul 18,2018 11:13 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — Amid a revival of unilateralism and protectionism across the globe, experts hail efforts to safeguard multilateralism and build an open world economy.

China and the European Union (EU) on July 16 agreed to jointly work to safeguard the rules-based international order, promote multilateralism and support free trade.

The agreement was reached during the 20th China-EU leaders’ meeting.

Both sides agreed that faced with the current complicated international situation, especially the rise of unilateralism and protectionism, China and the EU, as two major economies of the world, have the joint responsibility to safeguard the rules-based international order, advocate multilateralism, and support free trade so as to promote world peace, stability and development.

The two sides are firmly committed to fostering an open world economy, promoting trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, and resisting protectionism and unilateralism.

“The joint statement is a confirmation of the EU-China’s good relations,” Fabio Massimo Parenti, associate professor of international studies at the Institute Lorenzo de’ Medici, Florence.

“It represents clearly a will to deepening the work of many key dialogues and cooperative platforms between the two sides,” Parenti said.

The professor said that one of the significant points that emerge from the meeting is the consensus between the two sides on the centrality of UN’s actions, resolutions and basic principles.

In an interview with Xinhua, Arancha Gonzalez, executive director of the Inter Trade Center (ITC) said unilateral trade measures are not useful for global economies because today they are more interdependent and overlapping that at any time in history.

The current system necessitates global cooperative and multilateral solutions, she said.

Echoing that view, WTO Communications Director Keith Rockwell said “the multilateral trading system was created specifically for moments like this.”

Rockwell told Xinhua that “the best way to ensure that anxieties about globalization do not spiral out of control and into trade conflict is to address the real problem which is to help people find meaningful work.”

The answer to this problem is preparing young people for jobs through better education and training programs, Rockwell said. “We need to do a better job of helping people get back on their feet and back into work.”