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Hu urges G20 to safeguard fragile recovery

By Zhao Shengnan (China Daily)

08:11, June 18, 2012

President Hu Jintao urged members of the G20 to sustain and strengthen the "hard-won" momentum of economic recovery, which is fragile and faces challenges.

Hu made the remark in a written interview with Reforma, a major Mexican newspaper, prior to the G20 summit due to be held in the Mexican resort city of Los Cabos from Monday to Tuesday.

He arrived in Los Cabos on Saturday for the summit, which will focus on global growth and stability.

The eurozone debt crisis, the sluggish performance of many economies and high unemployment rates in some countries threaten a weak recovery, experts said.

The world economy is on the path to recovery and prospects for economic growth are improving, to some extent, Hu said. But the recovery is still not stable, and faces acute challenges, he said.

"Total global demand remains weak. Growth in major economies is sluggish. ... It is becoming more difficult for countries to coordinate their macroeconomic policies," he said.

"Great efforts are required to achieve robust, sustainable and balanced growth for the global economy."

At the seventh G20 summit, Hu, who participated in the previous six meetings, is expected to expand on China's stance regarding key issues. He will also meet other leaders to discuss the global economic situation, development, trade and employment.

Hu was expected to meet summit host President Felipe Calderon of Mexico on Sunday.

The G20, consisting of both developed and emerging economies, has played an important role in addressing the international financial crisis and promoting world economic stability and recovery, and has become the premier platform of global economic governance, Hu said.

"In the current world economic environment, G20 members should stick together in difficult times and pursue win-win cooperation," he said.

Hu also urged all G20 members to continue to advance the reform of the international financial system, meet targets for IMF quota and governance reform, improve the international monetary system and enhance international financial regulation.

"We should continue to oppose protectionism in all forms and advance the Doha round negotiations. We should continue to give high priority to development and promote the growth of developing countries to increase total global demand," he said.

Regarding the European sovereign debt, "an issue of general concern", Hu said the "G20 should address it in a constructive and cooperative way, encourage and support efforts made by Europe to resolve it and send a signal of confidence to the market".

The eurozone debt crisis has affected banking systems and remains a major concern, analysts said.

Economic coordination, both domestically and internationally, proved to be difficult, but Europe and the United States, should take more active steps to resolve their problems, said Zhang Haibing, an economic studies expert with the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies. "It is widely believed that the they are able to achieve it."

Meanwhile, developing countries should not be overlooked amid the recession, Zhang said. Otherwise, the realization of the Millennium Development Goals for 2015, eight targets that include reducing infant mortality and eradicating poverty, faces a bleak future, she said.

Zhu Caihua, vice-dean of the School of International Economy under the China Foreign Affairs University, also called for the discussion of a more balanced international financial system for developing countries and the effective implementation of the agreements reached during the summit.

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