World Bank chief calls for open trade, multilateral approaches

Source: Xinhua| 2018-10-31 19:10:22|Editor: xuxin
Video PlayerClose

WASHINGTON, Oct. 30 (Xinhua) -- World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim has called for open trade and greater integration to reinvigorate the multilateral trading system in a recent exclusive interview with Xinhua.

Kim said amid the rise of trade tensions around the world, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization have worked together to advocate open trade.

"Trade is an engine of growth that creates jobs, reduces poverty and increases economic opportunity," Kim said, adding that over 1 billion people have moved out of poverty because of economic growth underpinned by open trade since 1990.

Recognizing the importance of global commerce for growth and poverty reduction, the World Bank will focus the next World Development Report on global value chains and their potential for helping developing countries integrate into global markets and create jobs, he said.

"The current focus on trade tensions prevents us from looking at the unique untapped benefits further trade reform can bring to the global economy ... we need to strengthen and reinvest in the global trading system," Kim argued, suggesting greater openness in the areas of services and electronic commerce would promote competition, lift productivity, and raise living standards.

Kim will visit China on Nov. 1-7, and will address the first China International Import Expo (CIIE), which will be held from Nov. 5 to 10 in Shanghai.

The expo is a significant move of the Chinese government to push forward a new round of high-level opening-up, and an important measure to actively open the Chinese market to the world.

More than 3,000 companies, including over 200 enterprises that are leading in their industries from over 130 different countries and regions, have confirmed their participation in the expo.

"We appreciate China's recent decision to lower import tariffs on 40 percent of product categories ... we understand the CIIE as also showcasing China's greater openness to importers. These are all moves in the right direction," Kim said.

"We support what China is doing to expand imports and address global trade imbalances," he added.

Kim, along with the leaders of five other major international economic and financial institutions, will also participate in a roundtable meeting held by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Nov. 6.

They will discuss such topics as trends in the world economy, safeguarding the multilateral trading system, China's economy and reform and opening-up, according to Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang.

"Central to that discussion will be to underline the need for continued close collaboration on challenges that require multilateral approaches despite growing headwinds," said Kim.