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Softlanding for China, no break up for eurozone: Robert Zoellick

(Xinhua)

08:31, July 31, 2012

SINGAPORE, July 30 (Xinhua) -- Robert Zoellick, former president of the World Bank, said on Monday here that China has resources to cope with the economic slowdown and will result in a soft landing, while the debt-ridden eurozone will not break up even the "Grexit" really comes true.

Zoellick said inflation has been deeply concerned in China in the recent decade, so China has to slow down and go through a transition. "Some of the actions lower the growth pattern," added Zoellick.

He said the situation that China facing this time is very different from 10 years ago, when China needed to create 23 millions jobs a year. Nowadays, China needs to create high- productivity, highly value-added jobs instead of low value-added jobs, which representing opportunities and possibilities for competitions in the future.

He hold the opinion that China will "be more of a soft landing, " if China adjust the structure of the economy.

China's economic growth was 7.6 percent in the second quarter this year, the first time it dipped below 8 percent in more than two years, causing concerns among some of the economists.

Otherwise, Zoellick also pointed out that there are still internal debates on how much China need to rely on the traditional economic stimulus tools, even though they have recognized the importance of the structure changes of their growth model.

He insisted that China's leadership would "move gradually". If China provides more opportunities in participating in their service sectors, it will be a chance for the developed Singapore, the United States and the Europe to move their service sectors, undertake investments and share interests in energy efficiency and water efficiency, Zoellick added.

During the meeting, Zoellick also positioned his attitude towards the eurozone crisis. He has been focused most on Spain and Italy other than the debt-ridden Greece.

"The Germans are right. Spain and Italy have to make fiscal reform, and they have to also make structural reforms for competitiveness," he said.

There is mismatch between the time that those reforms will show benefits and the financing, representing one of the core questions facing against the eurozone, added Zoellick.

However, Zoellick said the muddling through with slow growth in the eurozone and still, the possibility of Greece exit will not lead the break up of the group. Otherwise, "the probability of downside risk are increasing."

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