Heads of planning agree to fight neoprotectionism tendancies worldwide
In the first major follow-up to the September talks in Xiamen between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, top economic planners of India and China on Tuesday set the goal of leading a new wave of globalisation by synchronising their emerging economies.
NITI Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar and his Chinese counterpart Li Wei, president of the Development Research Council (DRC) — the Chinese Cabinet’s top official think tank — began talks based on a firm common understanding.
They agreed that the two countries must work together to rescue globalisation from neoprotectionist tendencies in the U.S., Europe or anywhere else in the world.
“The global policy landscape needs restructuring. Globalisation needs a new momentum. Strengthened cooperation between China and India will jointly safeguard and improve the multilateral system and mechanism and promote a new type of globalisation. This is the demand for win-win development of our two countries as well as a global sustainable development,” Mr. Li said in his opening remarks at the third dialogue between the NITI Aayog and the DRC.
Mr. Kumar said an open, liberal and rule-based globalisation, wherein India and China could play a defining role, was necessary for prosperity and global political stability.
“I think we need to work together to make sure that the globalised world that has benefited everybody should continue to benefit the peoples of Asia as we go forward.”
He underscored the urgency of India-China partnership because of rising protectionism. “I think therefore India and China must work together as they must work together in environment and climate change… [so] that the liberal multilateral trading and economic order remains in place and protectionism is pushed back whether it rises in the U.S. or in Europe or anywhere else.”
Mr. Li said China-India cooperation — routed through the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the G-20, the BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) — “will further improve the global governance system.”
While the two planning heads acknowledged that the world economy was looking up, Mr. Li highlighted that without “structural reforms,” which included openness in trade and investments, the current spurt in growth might not be sustainable. Mr. Kumar said India could emerge as another driver of global growth, if the economic partnership between the two countries remained robust. “I think now perhaps, and hope all of us will agree that given the circumstances globally, in Asia, in India and China, maybe India can take over the baton of higher growth from China for the next 30 years and… we can see that our growth can go from 7 to 8 to beyond 10%.”
Mr. Kumar pointed to the complexity of the Indian economic model that would define the New Delhi-Beijing economic engagement in future. He said India was simultaneously pursuing job-creating manufacturing, riding the wave of the advanced industry 4.0 model, and developing its services sector within the framework of a bottom-up “cooperative and competitive federalism.”
He said Chinese investment in manufacturing could generate large-scale employment in India. Besides, India could benefit from Chinese experience gained from innovation-based “fourth industrial revolution” that focussed on advanced robotics, artificial intelligence, electric vehicles and internet-of-things. India could learn from China’s rich experience in developing infrastructure.
The two sides also discussed the latest innovations in electric vehicles, clean energy, higher education and Special Economic Zones.