|Statement by Ms. Wang Hongbo, Minister Counselor of the Permanent Mission of China to the United Nations,at the Second Committee of the 68th Session of the General Assembly under Agenda Item 17: Macroeconomic Policy Questions|
The Chinese delegation aligns itself with the statement made by Fiji on behalf of the G-77 and China, would like to thank the Trade and Development Board and the Secretary-General for submitting the relevant reports under this agenda item and UNCTAD for actively promoting global trade and development.
On International trade and development
The world economy is undergoing a recovery process fraught with difficulties. The economy of some developed countries is still weak, the growth of emerging economies has slowed down, and unemployment remains severe, making it all the more arduous to achieve global development. Against this background, international trade, as a most vibrant component of the world economy, plays an increasingly prominent role in improving countries’ economic structures and in promoting employment and sustainable development. The international community should safeguard and strengthen the multilateral trading system, work together to build a fair, just and open global trading system, promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, remove trade and investment barriers, oppose and resist all forms of protectionism, and help establish a global development partnership based on win-win cooperation with a view to promoting common prosperity.
The global value chains represent an emerging and ever more important trend in the world economic development. The formation of the global value chains and their growth are conducive to the rational allocation of resource elements throughout the world and are in sync with the trend of economic development. As such, they have a positive bearing on the overall world economy. However, the development of global value chains has intensified competition and posed grave challenges to a vast number of developing countries and the LDCs, making it impossible for them to integrate into the global value chains or keeping them perpetually at the low end. The international community should provide necessary support to developing countries for them to upgrade industrial production, build capacity and improve the competitiveness of their enterprises, so as to ensure the inclusiveness and sustainability of trade for development in the global context.
Healthy development of international trade needs the support of a sound international trading system. China always maintains that the WTO multilateral trading system remains core of the world trading system, being the best mechanism to resist trade protectionism; and trade negotiations within its framework are the best approach to safeguard the interests of the poorest and most vulnerable countries. China calls on all parties to work in good faith and effectively push the Doha Round negotiations forward, and reach agreement on “early harvest” at the ninth WTO Ministerial Conference and draw a clear roadmap for the completion of the Doha Round so as to increase the confidence of all parties in the multilateral trading system. We hope to see UNCTAD playing a greater role in the field of international trade and development, especially in helping developing countries address development challenges.
External debt sustainability and development
The debt issue is one of the major obstacles impeding the efforts of developing countries to promote economic growth and realize the MDGs. In the aftermath of the international financial crisis, the debt problem of developed countries has come to the fore and the external debt of developing countries has become more unsustainable. The international community should strengthen cooperation, take appropriate measures to tackle the sovereign debt crisis afflicting some developed economies and do more to create conditions for developing countries to achieve development and debt reduction. Developed countries, as major creditors, should honor their commitments in terms of debt reduction, increase net resource input, and scale up assistance while implementing responsible macroeconomic policies to appropriately address their own sovereign debt problems and fiscal risks. The international monetary institutions should increase funding support and technical assistance to developing countries to help them with capacity building. Assistance and debt relief should be predicated on respect for the leadership of recipient countries and aligned with their development strategies. It is China’s view that the issue of external debt should be considered under the post-2015 development agenda as an essential part of financing for development.
As a developing country, China has always attached importance to debt sustainability of developing countries and viewed foreign aid as its due international obligation. In providing assistance to recipient countries, the Chinese government has all along paid great attention to their debt sustainability. In cases where recipient countries experienced difficulties in repaying their debts to China, China has always managed to find appropriate solutions through bilateral channels and tried its best to reduce the burden of recipient countries. Since 2000, the Chinese Government has announced on six consecutive occasions cancellation of debts associated with interests-free loans owed by heavily indebted poor countries and the LDCs that have diplomatic relations with China. Up to now, China has signed debt cancellation agreements with 50 countries from Africa, Asia, the Caribbeans and the Pacific region, writing off 395 matured debts worth about 30 billion RMB. The Chinese government will continue to take measures within its capabilities to alleviate the debt burden of recipient countries.
In the view of my delegation, the international community should strengthen macroeconomic policy coordination and continue to improve the development environment of developing countries in aspects of finance, trade and investment. The regulation of financial and commodity markets should be strengthened and excessive financial speculations restricted in order to prevent irrational and excessive price fluctuation. Efforts should continue to enhance technical support to those developing countries that are dependent on commodities, and help them to increase investment in infrastructure, raise agricultural productivity, and resolve the relevant issues including food security so as to effectively safeguard the interests of developing countries, especially those dependent on commodities. The Chinese delegation acknowledges the important contribution made by UNCTAD in the area of commodities and supports it in taking forward its studies in cooperation with relevant partners with a view to continuing to offer effective analyses and policy recommendations on the question of commodities. China is ready to work with the rest of the international community, including UNCTAD, to mitigate the adverse impact of excessive fluctuation of commodity prices on the vulnerable groups in developing countries in a joint effort to promote balanced and sustainable development of developing countries.
Thank you, Madam. Chair.