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Positive signs in Europe hard won

(People's Daily Online)

08:03, May 14, 2013

Edited and translated by Liang Jun, People's Daily Online

China-Europe interests are increasingly interconnected, beyond mere trade relations. The two sides need to explore new areas of cooperation.

In early May, the European Commission issued its latest spring forecast and data showed that the eurozone economy was still in recession. Recently, many international agencies regarded Europe as the "short board" of the global economic recovery; the Italian election impasse and Cyprus banking crisis reignited euro fears.

But in general, European debt crisis, which broke out in late 2009, and European economic fluctuation have shown steady positive signs in 2013.

First is the sharp rebound in the market confidence, which was indicated by two indices, euro exchange rate and the bond yields of heavily indebted countries. Since 2013, the euro exchange rate against the U.S. dollar has remained stable; bond yields of heavily indebted countries saw general decline, with ten-year Italian and Spanish government bonds felling bellow 4 percent and that of France hitting a record low of 1.81 percent.

Secondly, European economy has shown signs of recovery. According to forcast, although there are still difficulties, European economy will gradually stabilize in the first half of 2013, pick up in the second half and the growth will quicken in 2014. Recently, Europe has reflected on the austerity policies and made efforts to stimulate growth. And with the overall recovery of world economy, European economy will have better external environment. In February 2013, trade surplus of international commodities in euro zone amounted to 10.4 billon euros, far more than that of the same period of 2012.

Thirdly, the construction of European system has gradually paid off. Since last summer, the integration of fiscal consolidation, financial firewall and the construction of a European banking union has basically been formed, and this has influenced the market to some extent. Italian election impasse and Cyprus banking crisis did not have substantive impact on European debt crisis, which shows Europe has stronger capacity to resist shock. Politically, the euro and the European integration are the most outstanding achievements over the past more than 60 years after the World War II.

In fact, positive news on European debt crisis has been on the increase recently. Greek prime minister Antonis Samaras believed that the situation in Greece is improving and its economy will go out of the recession for six consecutive years; senior official from Italia’s central bank said the European debt situation was generally getting better and has been gone through the most critical moment; and experts predicted that Europe would get rid of the debt crisis in 2014. Some analysts believe that, comparing to the United States’ endless quantitative easing, Europe chose an road to adjust, which is in the right direction although it is very difficult; if successful, it will lay a good foundation for the healthy development of the economy.

Behind the debt problem are the economic, social and political issues. Even if the debt crisis is no longer dangerous, seeking growth, enhancing competitiveness, improving banking and financial system and solving the problem of the unemployment of young people will be a long process. Maybe, a cautiously optimistic attitude is more reliable to the prospect of the European development.

For China, seizing opportunity to push Sino-Europe ties and strengthening cooperation of mutual benefit and win-win situation are constructive moves. China-Europe interests are increasingly interconnected and have been beyond mere trade relations. The two sides need to explore new areas of cooperation, further promote bilateral investment and strengthen exchanges and cooperation in urbanization, new energy, advanced technology and cultural industry.

There are many uncertainties in world economic recovery. When China and Europe, the largest developing country and the biggest developed economy, are moving forward to the same direction, its significance is obvious.

Read the Chinese version: 欧洲,向好迹象来之不易

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Email|Print|Comments(Editor:LiangJun、Zhang Qian)

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