Friday, 4 November 2011

Can EU solve its own debt crisis?



EU can solve its own crisis, no need for China to step in

By TEE LIN SAY linsay@thestar.com.my

SERI KEMBANGAN: China does not need to help in the eurozone debt crisis because Europe has enough money to solve the problem on its own, said Standard Chartered head of research (east global research) Nicholas Kwan.



“It is now politics that is getting in the way,” he said at a discussion on “Building Financial Hubs Rethinking the World of Money” at the 3rd World Chinese Economic Forum.

Kwan said people must not be misled to think that with China stepping in, the eurozone problem could be solved. Europe's economy is US$14 trillion (RM42 trillion), while China's US$3.26 trillion (RM9.78 trillion) in foreign reserves is only a quarter of that figure.

“To ask China to help would be to give China some limelight. Even if China were to help, they cannot expect China to help in a big way. If Germany is not interested to help, then why should China?”

Kwan said China had spent too much money investing, particularly in US treasuries, which were yielding a very low interest rate.

“I don't think China can cut down anytime soon in US treasuries, but they can do some passive diversification. Moving forward, they can reduce the proportion of new investments in the treasuries,” he said.

Kwan said that one good thing about the financial crisis was that every economy had a share in it. In the case of China, it had invested too much US dollars to a single huge borrower. “As everyone is affected, everybody has an interest for the world to recover,” he said.

IHS senior director and Asia-Pacific chief economist Rajiv Biswas said that growth for Europe in the medium term would be constrained at less than 2% but, at the same time, would not be negative.

Rajix expected moderately positive growth in the United States, with gross domestic product (GDP) expanding at an average of 2% over the next decade.

He said that much of China was moving in the middle-income group. “A large share of GDP to consumption will increase as a result of this. Moving forward, domestic consumption in China will become a lot more important,” he said.

Kwan added that previously, if growth in the United States and Europe were to stop, other economies would follow suit. However, this has now changed, especially in Asia and China, as the emerging economies are now able to create markets among themselves.



“While Asia would still be affected by the slowdown in the West, now they can offset some of the growth that is missing,” he said.

Tembusu Partners Pte Ltd chairman Andy Lim said the four sectors he liked in China were healthcare, resources, clean technology and education.

“When we invest in China, we never ask them to show us their books. We know it is of no use. What we first do is to spend time getting to know these entrepreneurs in the first 12 months. Secondly, we talk to their peers.

“Then thirdly and very importantly, we need to know what the entrepreneur's relationship with the local authorities are. This makes a huge difference to the bottomline. Finally, we look at their books,” said Lim.

Maybank Investment Bank Bhd director and head of dealing, equities, Lok Eng Hong said Malaysia recently made it as China's top 10 investment destinations. The top few destinations were Hong Kong, the United States, South Korea and Australia.

Chinese President Hu delivers speech at G20 Summit


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In French resort city of Cannes, Chinese President Hu Jintao has delivered a speech at the G20 Summit. He pointed out that some major economies are experiencing an economic slowdown, and some countries are facing acute sovereign debt problems. Hu called for greater attention and more concerted efforts to solve these problems.

In his speech, Hu Jintao pointed out that the world economy is facing instability and uncertainty and encountering growing risks and challenges. As the premier forum for international economic cooperation, the G20 must work to address the key problems, boost market confidence, defuse risks and meet challenges, and promote global economic growth and financial stability.

Hu also made five specific proposals. First, ensuring growth while paying attention to balance. He called on different countries to introduce new and strong measures to ensure that the fiscal and monetary policies are fully implemented and that funding is channeled into the real economy to boost production and employment.

Second, he urged pursuit of a win-win outcome through cooperation. Hu said world leaders should strengthen unity and send a strong signal of cooperation to the world so as to boost the confidence of the international community in global economic recovery and development.

Third, improve governance in the course of reform. Hu proposed that the world should advance the reform of the international monetary system in a steady manner and oppose trade and investment protectionism in order to build a fair, equitable and non-discriminatory international trading system.

Hu’s fourth proposal was to strive for progress through innovation. He urged innovative thinking, a system and mode for advancing economic and social development and to bring into full play the basic role of the market in resources allocation while avoiding blind pursuit of profit and malicious competition.

Finally, he called on promoting common prosperity through development. He said that as a developing country, China stands ready to promote mutual assistance with other developing countries and will work with them to advance durable peace and common prosperity.

To further help the least developed countries in their development endeavor, China will, in the context of South-South cooperation, give zero-tariff treatment to 97 percent of tariffed items exported to China from the least developed countries that have diplomatic ties with China.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of China’s accession to the WTO. In the past decade, China’s economy has made significant advances and its contributions to world economic growth. On the other hand, China is confronted with quite a few challenges in its efforts to maintain steady and fast growth. Hu said he was convinced that, through hard work and with the understanding and support of the international community, China’s economy has bright prospects. And continued steady and fast economic growth in China will serve the interest of global economic growth.

Hu calls for joint efforts to promote growth, financial stability
Chinese President Hu Jintao on Thursday urged the world's major economies to work together to promote growth and financial stability. "It is imperative that we stand on a higher plane, transcend differences on specific issues, move beyond short-term considerations, and jointly seek ways to overcome the crisis and sustain development," Hu told the Group of 20 (G20) summit here. <Full Story>

China makes more contributions to world economic growth: Hu
Chinese President Hu Jintao said Thursday that his country is making more contributions to world economic growth as its economy has made strides in the past decade. <Full story>

China pledges more help to other developing countries
Chinese President Hu Jintao said Thursday that his country will provide more help to other developing countries. <Full story>

Chinese President Hu's speech at G20 Summit in Cannes

China's Hu Says Europe Can Solve Crisis On Its Own


(RTTNews) - Chinese President Hu Jintao said on Thursday that Europe has the absolute "wisdom and ability" to solve its debt problems. 

After meeting French President Nicolas Sarkozy at Cannes ahead of the G20 meeting, he said that recent reform package agreed upon by EU leaders during last week's summit demonstrated Europe's determination and will to end the crisis.

According to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hu said that he expects the implementation of the reforms to solve all the difficulties currently facing the region, and help in its economic recovery.

by RTT Staff Writer

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