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Global business leaders: China will continue to be a key contributor to global economic growth


Global business leaders praised China's decision to pursue high-quality development and expressed confidence in China's economic potential, saying China will continue to be a key contributor to global economic growth.

They made the remarks at the China Development Forum 2024 in Beijing on Sunday, during which international scholars, entrepreneurs, government officials and representatives from international organizations discussed key issues concerning the development of China and the world.


In her speech, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said that China is transforming its economy from high rates to high quality of growth and that high-quality development ultimately depends on reforms. 

She projects over 3 percent growth for 2024 and the following year for the global economy and urged deep structural reforms for all countries to enhance the conditions for entrepreneurship, innovation and economic performance as the world is facing low productivity, high debt levels and geopolitical tensions.

The IMF head called for China to implement "a comprehensive package of pro-market reforms," saying China could grow considerably faster with reforms starting with sound macroeconomic fundamentals, and the additional growth would add $3.5 trillion to the Chinese economy.

World Bank President Ajay Banga also mentioned the global challenges, saying they intensified global inequality. He noted that developing countries faced an "unimaginable" gap with 1.1 billion young people expected to enter the workforce in the next decade while the expected jobs being created would only be 325 million. However, he also cautioned that it's just a prediction, not an actual destiny, adding that China's "remarkable journey" in the past five decades was a testament to what is possible. 

Like Georgieva, Banga also emphasized the importance of reforms. He said that since China's reform and opening up in 1978, it has lifted 770 million rural residents out of poverty, and due to reform, China fundamentally changed its development trajectory, with more than 8 million jobs created every year for over three decades, sharply reducing global poverty from 44 percent to 9 percent. Once a major World Bank borrower, China is now one of the bank's biggest donors, Banga added.


The IMF head presented opportunities to boost productivity and improve living standards citing digital and green transformations. She acknowledged China's leading position in artificial intelligence, saying China's well-developed digital infrastructure provides a head start.

In terms of advancing the green economy, she described China as a global leader in deploying renewable energy with enormous potential, adding that China was making rapid progress in green mobility.

She also highlighted China's contributions to assist the IMF in providing affordable long-term financing to low-income countries and states undertaking reforms to reduce risks to prospective balance of payments stability, including those related to climate change and pandemic preparedness, and capacity-development initiatives.

"China's remarkable development success has delivered tremendous benefits to hundreds of millions of people," she said and expressed her confidence that China and the world can tackle the current challenges and create a more prosperous future for all through cooperation.

Apple CEO Tim Cook is seen at the China Development Forum, Beijing, China, March 24, 2024. /CFP
Apple CEO Tim Cook is seen at the China Development Forum, Beijing, China, March 24, 2024. /CFP

Apple CEO Tim Cook is seen at the China Development Forum, Beijing, China, March 24, 2024. /CFP

Apple's Tim Cook also attended Sunday's forum. The CEO of the U.S.' largest smartphone empire was in Shanghai to open a new Apple store this week, and he met with China's Commerce Minister Wang Wentao on Friday.

"I think China is really opening up, and I'm so happy to be here," Cook told a reporter from CGTN at the forum on Sunday.

He also told the China Media Group that Apple would keep increasing its investment in research and development in China, adding that Apple's flagship mixed-reality headset, the Vision Pro, would hit shelves in China by the end of this year.

(Cover: A view of the hall before the start of the China Development Forum in Beijing, March 24, 2024. /CFP)

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