Interview: LatAm can learn from China's economic diversification, social inclusion -- observer

Source: Xinhua| 2019-10-10 15:22:52|Editor: ZX
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by Victoria Arguello

BUENOS AIRES, Oct. 9 (Xinhua) -- Economic diversification and social inclusion are key to China's growth, Argentine political observer Lautaro Taibo said on Wednesday.

The economic stagnation of many countries in the region, including Argentina, is largely due to a lack of polices promoting economic diversification and social inclusion, Taibo, a lecturer at the University of Buenos Aires, told Xinhua in an interview.

"Raw material production is prioritized and that ... results in many shortcomings when it comes to making progress in such sectors as technology and heavy industry," Taibo said.

"That is a clear weakness that creates dependency on countries such as the U.S. and members of the European Union ... mainly because industrialized powers benefit from the subsequent imbalance in economic trade," he added.

Taibo cited China as an example of a country that was able to lift hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, and at an incredible speed, through economic diversification.

"The solutions were comprehensive, including improvements in education, transportation, housing, infrastructure, finance, industrial development, employment and health, among other areas," he said.

Argentina has struggled to reduce poverty, with some 42.3 percent of Argentina's youth aged between 15 and 29 living below the poverty line, said Taibo.

In 2018, Argentina's gross domestic product per capita fell from 14,591 U.S. dollars to 11,652 dollars due to a steep devaluation of its currency against the dollar, according to the World Bank.

To tackle poverty, Taibo said, it is necessary to promote "equal opportunities" and create "customized development models," instead of applying "prefabricated" formulas made elsewhere.

China, for example, developed socialism with Chinese characteristics, a system that effectively cut poverty, he noted.

"China chose the Chinese way. It did not import prefabricated models, the government created its own solutions," Taibo said.

Chinese authorities took into account "the culture, experiences, capacities and opportunities in ... different regions of the country, and trained people in different crafts and tasks," he said.

Latin American countries stand to benefit from China's goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects by 2020, he said, since that would present the region with a larger Chinese middle class and consumer market.