People wearing face masks walk along a pedestrian shopping street at the Wangfujing shopping district in Beijing, Nov 19, 2022. (MARK SCHIEFELBEIN / AP)
GENEVA — China's optimization of COVID-19 response will contribute to global growth, World Economic Forum (WEF) President Borge Brende told Xinhua in a recent interview.
The new response of China "will lead to stronger and more prosperous growth, even if this immediate situation is a bit challenging," Brende said ahead of the WEF's annual meeting to be held on Monday in Davos, Switzerland.
After the immediate challenges, China's active adjustments to its COVID-19 response will lead to growth in industrial output, investment and service industries
After the immediate challenges, China's active adjustments to its COVID-19 response will lead to growth in industrial output, investment and service industries such as tourism, he added.
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Growth will continue in the second-largest economy in the world, said Brende. "Overall, for late 2023 and 2024, we're very optimistic on growth in China," Brende noted.
According to the WEF president, the world economy's biggest challenge in 2023 is slower growth.
"Part of the world will go into a recession, some parts of the world will continue to grow, but at a slower level," he said.
The 2023 WEF annual meeting is themed "Cooperation in a Fragmented World." Brende called for a global growth policy to cope with the challenges, noting the only way to deal with global problems is through global solutions.
Protectionism and geopolitical complex are slowing global growth, and "what we hope for our annual meeting in Davos is that nations should again try to find areas to cooperate and not only work against each other," said Brende.
China plays a vital role in bringing key stakeholders together, underlining the importance of continuing global trade, he added.
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"I do hope that through the World Trade Organization and also other trade agreements, we can see trade and investments flowing again," he said.
The WEF president also said there are a lot of opportunities in technology in the years to come that can also drive global growth. Investments in new technologies, such as renewable energy, could help solve environmental problems and create new jobs.
Speaking of China's Global Development Initiative and the Belt and Road Initiative, Brende believes these initiatives are "critical and consequential."
He noted that capital and investments must continue to flow to developing countries and emerging economies.