China is vital in global governance landscape

Updated: 2016-08-22 10:08


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MELBOURNE - China has a very important role to play in the global governance landscape against the backdrop of a faltering global growth, a Sydney-based partner at the accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) told Xinhua in an interview ahead of the upcoming G20 Summit in Hangzhou, China.

Andrew Parker, who is also director of China Matters, an independent not-for-profit entity focused from a policy perspective on China's rise and how it matters to Australia, said he is optimistic about the first G20 summit chaired by China.

"This is an opportunity for China to step into the leadership role that I think it both deserve and crave on the global stage. The Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the BRICS bank and of course the 'One Belt One Road' initiative, these are the important plans to help the global economies to achieve critical objectives," he said.

"China today is the second-largest economy in the world, and more importantly, the No.1 emerging market economy which contributed around one-third of the global growth last year. China's contribution to global growth is extremely important," he added.

However, considerable institutional and political inertia remain challenges for China during its G20 presidency.

Parker said the G20's proclaimed objectives have seen slow progress in recent years, something China hopes to change.

"The forum's central mandate has been, for a few years, strong, sustainable and inclusive growth. Back in November 2014 in Brisbane, the G20 ministers all agreed to lift global growth by two percentage points by 2018 over the IMF's 2013 forecast," said Parker.

"But the achievement against its objective has been patchy. I think it would be fair to suggest that growth has definitely not being strong, the global economy is certainly not sustainable. I would argue that the growth has not been particularly inclusive either," he added.

Referring to the Beijing-led push to upgrade the G20 from a crisis response mechanism to a long-term governance platform, he regarded a lack of execution mechanisms as one of the significant impediment to the G20's endeavors.

"This has long been a criticism of the G20. The fact that matters is G20 doesn't have a secretary and it doesn't have any enforcement mechanism, so it relies on what you might call political will or leadership to make progress on the issues," he said.

At a time of sluggish global growth, he said that collaboration is needed to stimulate growth.

"If you look at 2016, the forecast of global growth is pretty flat. We are heading to the IMF's 3 percent line under which generally a global recession is considered to be in progress," he said.

For Australia and China, two major economies in the region, "it is absolutely vital that both China and Australia find common ground and work together towards that development of the region," he said.

Parker is the lead author of PwC's landmark report "Passing us by" released in 2014, in which he revealed some insightful and ground-breaking points of view on the significance of engaging with the world's engine of economic growth.

"Our world is changing, China is changing. Australia's economy has been heavily reliant on a resources and investment boom that was largely driven by China's industrialization and its growth," said Parker. "There is no question in my mind that a well-implemented 'One Belt One Road' program will deliver significant benefits to the region, to Australia and of course to the Chinese economy."