China-U.S. phase-one trade deal sends a positive signal to the world and related parties deem it conducive to the two countries and the world at large, the UN economic and social chief said Thursday.
At a press briefing on the newly-released World Economic Situation and Prospects 2020, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Liu Zhenmin said that China-U.S. trade disputes, among a raft of other factors, were behind the decade-low global growth rate in 2019.
According to the UN flagship report, the global economy grew 2.3 percent in 2019, the lowest in 10 years. It also noted the global trade growth was pushed down to 0.3 percent last year, also a record low in a decade.
Rising tariffs and months of ever-evolving global trade tensions have fueled policy uncertainty and significantly curtailed investment, the report said.
Liu laid out the annual economic growth rates of the world, the United States and China for the years of 2018-2020, calculated or predicted by the UN yearly reports, which overall show a downward trend.
Although an uptick growth of 2.5 percent in 2020 for the world is possible, a flare-up of trade tensions, financial turmoil, or an escalation of geopolitical tensions could derail a recovery, he said, citing this year's report.
"We can see from the data that the U.S.-China trade friction affected both countries' economic growth, which in turn dragged down the world's performance," Liu noted, adding the signing of the deal on Wednesday is good news to the world and "we should congratulate the two countries."
In order for the world's economy to avoid further slipping, stable trade relations need to be maintained and major geopolitical risks need to be eschewed.
The senior UN official further called upon all parties to strengthen cooperation in a globalized economy to maintain development that accommodates trade, investment and consumption.