On 25th April 2016, CCIEE Chief Economist Chen Wenling met with Dr. Osamu Tanaka, Executive Vice President of Japan Policy Research Institute of Japan’s Ministry of Finance. They exchanged views on a wide range of issues, including Chinese and world economic situations.
Ms. Chen noted that the world economy has been in a cycle of low growth since the global financial crisis in 2008. While the old global problems like high debts, high unemployment rates, population aging and high monetary risks remain unresolved, new problems have emerged, such as the plunge of commodity prices, competitive devaluation of currencies, low interest rate risks, irrational trade protectionism and added uncertainties in the world economy in the election year of 2016. While the overall outlook of China’s economy remains optimistic, there are still many difficulties and challenges lying ahead, such as cutting overcapacity and eliminating poverty and pollution. China has set a growth target of 6.5-7% for the 13th Five-Year Plan period. To meet that target, the Chinese government will increase investment to promote consumption, import and export trade and outward investment. She pointed out that China and Japan are close neighbors, and are both countries with important influence in Asia and beyond. To maintain long-term, stable and healthy development of China-Japan relationship is in the fundamental interests of the two countries and peoples, and conducive to peace and prosperity of the region and the world at large.
Dr. Osamu Tanaka gave an update on Japan’s economic situation, noting that Yen’s excess depreciationon has a huge impact on the small- and medium-sized export-oriented enterprises, which would offset the cost benefit brought about by the price fall of crude oil. The negative interest rates have had an impact only on a limited number of areas, and the policy goal of Japan’s central bank is to cut the long-term interest rates and boost investment. Dr. Tanaka said Japan has a keen interest in the establishment of a China-Japan-ROK free trade area and wants to accelerate the negotiation process.
The two sides agreed to keep in touch to increase interactions between researchers and discuss issues of mutual interest, so as to better advise the two governments in decision making and provide intellectual support for economic and social development of the two countries.