Zhang Huanbo: Building A Community with Shared Future for Mankind and Asia-Pacific
On November 14, the 11th BRICS Leaders’ meeting was held in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil. Jair Bolsonaro, President of Brazil, chaired the meeting. Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Putin, Indian Prime Minister Modi, and South African President Ramaphosa attended the meeting. Focusing on the theme of “BRICS: Economic Growth for an Innovative Future”, the leaders of the five countries exchanged views on BRICS cooperation and major international issues of common concern. At the end of the meeting, a broad consensus has been reached.
Xi Jinping delivered an important speech entitled “Working Together to Compose a New Chapter of Cooperation”, emphasizing that the BRICS countries should take their responsibilities, seize opportunities, further promote the new industrial revolution partnership, advance mutual learning, and expand cultural exchanges. China will continue its opening-up, promote the high-quality building of the “Belt and Road”, and work hard to promote the building of a community with shared future for mankind and Asia-Pacific.
Zhang Huanbo, deputy director of the Institute of American and European Studies at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, was interviewed by Zhonghong Net.
Promoting the market integration of BRICS countries.
Question: Xi Jinping hopes that the business community can seize opportunities, meet challenges, and promote economic cooperation among BRICS countries. Furthermore, they should actively invest in BRICS countries and promote local growth and employment. In your opinion, how should the business community make good use of economic cooperation and investment opportunities in the BRICS countries?
Zhang Huanbo: Great progress has been made since the establishment of the BRICS cooperation mechanism. Member countries conducted pragmatic cooperation in the areas of economy and trade, finance, science and technology, agriculture, culture, education, health, and think tanks exchanges. The business community should make the best use of these mechanisms and platforms, strengthen communication and exchanges in various fields, discover market opportunities, solve development puzzles, and consolidate the foundation for cooperation.
In the future, the BRICS cooperation mechanism will be further improved, and the integration will be deepened in the aspects of resources, technology, talents, and capital. The business community must play an important role in this process by coordinating factor resources, expand production in BRICS countries and provide high-quality products and services to the world. The market integration and the market size of the BRICS will continue to expand. In 2018, the total economic volume of the five countries accounted for approximately 23.52% of the world’s total economy, and the total trade accounted for 16.28% of the world’s total. The business community should continue to maintain progress, unleash market potential and expand the market size.
Meeting the challenges of globalization with high-quality development.
Questions: how should Chinese entrepreneurs combine the supply-side reform with international markets and resources to meet the challenges of globalization with high-quality development?
Zhang Huanbo: Currently, the globalization is facing great challenges, the uncertainties in the development of the world economy are increasing, and the cooperation in economy, investment and trade are faced with new tests. The unilateralism and protectionism disrupted market order and expectations; increasing political and economic instability has affected production capacity and market consumption; some deep-seated contradictions are gradually exposed in the development of globalization, such as the problem of widening income gaps, income distribution of multinational companies, corporate development and social responsibility. All these issues will be more complex and harder to solve due to the downward economic trend.
Chinese business community should improve its ability in allocating world market resources, especially the BRICS countries, coordinate both the international and domestic markets and resources, optimize the layout of the global industrial chain, supply chain and value chain, and improve internationalization of enterprises. On the other hand, they should increase cooperation with enterprises of BRICS countries, make good use of the resources and advantages of each member country, overcome difficulties, and take the lead in the new round of technology and the industrial revolution to create core competitiveness of BRICS enterprises.
Provide positive energy for the healthy development of the global economy.
Question: Xi Jinping emphasized that China’s development is an opportunity for the rest of the world. China’s determination to expand opening-up remains unchanged, and its positive trend in the long-term remains unchanged. How do you interpret the “opportunity” and the two “unchanged”?
Zhang Huanbo: The expanding market size, increasing production capacity and enhanced innovation vitality of China are opportunities for world development. China is a market with the greatest potential and will soon become the world’s largest consumer market, which is an important driving force for world economic development. At the same time, China has the world’s largest and most complete industrial production system. The capacity and quality of China’s industrial production are making a rapid improvement, enabling it to provide high-quality goods to the world and inject strong vitality into the world economy. China’s science, technology and innovation capabilities are making continuous progress, new models, formats, products and services are constantly emerging, which will create strong momentum for the world economy.
Expanding opening-up is a consistent strategic decision of China and China will continue to accelerate this process. When some countries are increasing trade protection, China’s continued expansion of opening-up has provided positive energy for the healthy development of the global economy. China has not only expanded the scope and depth of its opening-up constantly, but also speed up opening-up in advanced manufacturing, finance and other fields. Moreover, it will continue to create high-level free trade pilot zones and build a world-class business environment.
China’s development has great potential, its development capacity is increasing, and the positive economic trend in the long term remains unchanged. There is still a lot of room for development in China’s urbanization. Every year, a large number of the rural population move to cities and start a new life there, which will provide strong support for economic development. At the same time, the quality of China’s development and the people’s pursuit of a better life are improving. The strengthened scientific research and innovation capabilities of China, and enterprises’ ability to better use new technologies will accelerate China’s total factor productivity rapidly. China has made constant progress in building a better market environment, the combination of market and government guidance in resources allocation will continue to improve the soundness of China’s economic development.