Multilateral mechanisms needed to bridge gaps in COVID fight: former Chinese central bank chief
Zhou Xiaochuan, former head of the People's Bank of China. /CFP

Zhou Xiaochuan, former head of the People's Bank of China. /CFP

A former Chinese central bank governor has said that countries should establish multilateral cooperation mechanisms to bridge gaps in immune responses, and green and digital technologies, given the continued coronavirus pandemic and uneven distribution of vaccines.

Zhou Xiaochuan, former head of the People's Bank of China (PBOC), said at the International Finance Forum (IFF) on Saturday in Beijing that more and more countries recognize that tackling climate change is not only to shoulder responsibility, but also to share opportunities for green technology and green industry development. Therefore, it is necessary to build a global carbon neutrality and governance mechanism, he said, noting that the pandemic has also accelerated the digital transformation of the global economy.

Zhou said countries should enhance the global and regional financial safety networks to provide more stable macroeconomic funding support for developing countries, especially the most vulnerable during the pandemic.

It is hoped that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) can help the special drawing rights (SDR) play a better role as an international reserve asset, to help member states more flexibly meet the needs of liquidity and public expenditure at this time, he said.

He also highlighted the importance of trade liberation and infrastructure connectivity.

"Trade is the major driving force of global economic growth. We must promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, deepen regional economic integration, and maintain the safe and smooth operation of global industrial chains and supply chains," Zhou said.

It is necessary to promote infrastructure connectivity and governments and multilateral development organizations should establish incentive mechanisms to attract more private funds to invest in sustainable infrastructure, he added.

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