Recent monetary and fiscal stimulus measures are expe

cted to bolster domestic demand, partially offsetting the adverse impact of trade tariffs on overall growth,” the report said.

The US recently signaled its intention to impose additional tariffs on the European Union, primarily targeted at the

aircraft and food industries. It is in addition to the imposition of steel and aluminum tariffs that are already in place.

Amid unresolved trade disputes and higher tariffs, the projected growth of world tra

de has been revised downwards to 2.7 percent in 2019, slowing markedly from 3.4 percent in 2018.

The report warns that “the impact of a spiral of additional tariffs and retalia

tions would not only dampen growth of these large economies, but also have severe spi

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Conflict also disrupts growth. Although many conflic

icts appear to have a religious or ethnic basis, some scholars believe their root cause may be economic, with ethnic divisio

s serving as a way to exclude other groups from access to scarce resources and opportunities. Whatever its so

urce, inequality of opportunity has a highly disruptive effect on governance and hence growth.

But these obstacles are not insurmountable. For one th

ing, developing countries now have huge potential export markets in middle-inc

ome countries, and no longer depend entirely on advanced economies for access to global markets.

Belt and Road can play vital development role

There is also a renewed awareness of the importance of infrastructure in e

nabling growth. In addition to roads, railways and ports, electricity and digital conn

ectivity are crucial. In this regard, the rapid expansion of cellular wireless technology, combined with the install

ation of high-capacity undersea broadband pipes around Africa, represents major prog

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Nevertheless, it is difficult to separate cyclical elements

and external shocks from the long-term trend and to conclude that China’s potential growth rate really is 6-6.5 percent.

Many Chinese economists cite long-term supply-side structural factors-such as demographic agi

ng, environmental degradation, and a lack of progress on reform-to argue that China has simply en

tered a new stage of development, characterized by significantly lower potential growth rates.

Structural factors don’t explain falling growth rate

While this may be true-everyone in China agrees that 9-10 perce

nt annual growth rates are a thing of the past-there is no clear indication of how much Chin

a’s growth potential has actually declined. Long-term supply-side structural factors do not explain, for exam

ple, why the growth rate fell from 12.1 percent in the first quarter of 2010 to 7.4 percent in the third quarter of 2013.

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This issue is similar to the environment. External critics

ent. External critics of China don’t appreciate that Chinese themselves realize there

are issues to be addressed. They are doing so. These developments should be encouraged.”

President Xi Jinping, who spoke at the Second Belt and Road Foru

m for International Cooperation in Beijing recen

tly, listed areas in which China will improve the environment for foreign investment.

The president said the nation will work hard to create a business environ

ment that respects the value of intellectual prop

erty, will improve the legal system for IPR protection at all levels, will strengthen law enforcement and pr

otection for the legitimate rights and interests of foreign IP owners and will bar the

forced transfer of technology, improve protection of trade secrets and crack down on infringement.

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The country will continue to deepen supply-side stru

ctural reform and consolidate outcomes in its efforts to cut overcapac

ity, reduce excess inventory, deleverage entities and lower costs, the statement said.

More efforts will also be made to strengthen the dynamics of micro-entities, im

prove industry chains and ensure unimpeded flow of goods and services in the national economy.

The meeting also pledged major new outcomes through enhanced reform and opening-up.

More work will be done to seize new opportunities, improve scientific

and technological innovation capacity and speed up green development, said the st

atement, which also stressed the need for the country to take part in the reform of the global economic governance system.

It is also important to resolutely guard against the practice of forma

lities for formalities’ sake and excessive bureaucracy, as well as prevent fraud to ens

ure implementation of requirements set in the Central Economic Work Conference.

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If Britain receives competing extradition requests, law

yers say the Home Secretary would have some leeway in deciding which takes priority. Considera

tions would usually include which request came first, and which alleged crime was more serious.

Most of the lawmakers who signed the letter are from the opposition Labour Party, whose leader, Jere

my Corbyn, wants Britain to refuse to send Assange to the US After Assange’s arrest, he prai

sed Assange for exposing US atrocities committed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Some Conservative Party members are also backing the move. Prom

inent lawmaker Alistair Burt, a former Foreign Office mini

ster, said the “minimizing of the issues in relation to sexual assault are really quite disturbing.”

He said the testimony of the women who have been involv

ed makes it “essential” that Assange face justice to either be cleared or convicted.

Assange, 47, has denied the sexual misconduct allegations, which he claims are politically motivated.

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Fourth, the daunting challenges that China faces at this po

point in its economic development are far more important than whether its slowdown is

a gap or a trap. What comes after the catch-up to advanced economies operating on the technological frontier? This

is where China’s stated goal of shifting from imported to indigenous innovation comes in. Middle-versus high-inco

me status is a relative comparison for developing economies seeking to operate on that frontier. Notwithstanding the

temporary effects of periodic exogenous disturbances-such as deleveraging, global slowdowns, or even trad

e wars-catching up to the frontier and joining others pushing to move beyond it is the ultimate reward of economic development. That goal is ensh

rined in President Xi Jinping’s aspiration for China to achieve high-income status by 2050.

And fifth, productivity growth is far more important than GDP gro

wth in determining a country’s development prospects. As such, I would be far more wor

ried about China falling into a productivity trap than a GDP growth trap. A new study on total factor prod

uctivity (TFP) by a team of Chinese researchers offers some comfort here. Like the work of Pritchett and Summers, thi

s latest assessment of Chinese TFP growth reveals several discontinuities over the past 40 years.

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A $50 million rescue and rebuild mission is now underway to

repair roads, bridges, schools, communication lines and provide healthcare to

those affected. The country is in poor shape to withstand the financial impact of a disaster: Zimbabwe is cur

rently in the grip of a deep economic crisis.
The Zimbabwe Information Ministry shared pictures of some pupils who had been res

cued from a boarding school in Chimanimani District, one of the worst-affected areas in the east of the country. Br

idges were swept away, and power and communication lines in the area have been cut off.

St Charles Lwanga School children are now safely in Chiping

e and currently receiving medical attention. pic.twitter.com/Ad9LSC7WhS

— Ministry of Information, Publicity & Broadcasting (@InfoMinZW) March 18, 2019

This cyclone follows a week of heavy rains and flooding across southeast Afri

ca that affected 1.5 million people in Mozambique and Malawi, killing at least 120 people in both countries, UN

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Then Trump claimed — wrongly — that the EU was unwillin

  g to “negotiate with the Obama administration” about trade. In fact, the prev

ious administration sought to conclude a Transatlantic Trade and Investm

ent Partnership — or TTIP — with Europe, though was unable to get the deal across the line. Trump’s own talks on t

rade with Europe have been inconclusive, after he threatened to spark a trade war.

  Trump vs. his global counterparts

  Trump’s comments on Brexit also illustrated the tendency of a Pre

sident who admires dictators to throw allied leaders under the bus.

  He criticized Prime Minister Theresa May, whose credibility has been shredded by parliamentary defeats.

  ”She didn’t listen to that and that’s fine, I mean, she’s got to do what she’s got to do,” said Trump, who was forced into

a rare apology last year after hammering May’s Brexit strategy on the eve of meeting her in the UK.

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I’m happy to hear that the government will continue to pro

mote the reform and opening-up. There are many things in the pipeline for foreign direct i

nvestment. The government plans to allow many companies in different kinds of sectors. In this

upcoming session, the new law regarding foreign direct investment will be discussed. I believe more Sudanese co

mpanies will be allowed to come to China and more Chinese companies will go to Sudan.

I noticed many important things mentioned in today’s report. It talk

s about employment, the protection of the environment, the opening-up of the Chin

ese economy and external trade, which are very impressive. As an ambassador, I wish success to the Chin

ese government in the coming year and I’d like to see more Chinese investors invest in Tunisia.

When it comes to the opening-up of the financial sector, the bond mark

et, the development of multi-tier capital market, the continued emphasis on controlling lev

erage, I think those are some of the issues that we are very interested in. And we are going to study the report.

We haven’t seen the final version of the Foreign Investment Law yet. We

will look at it. But further opening up, especially related to service sector, is very imp

ortant. I think it will bring big benefits for China and big benefits to all the countries in the world.

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