China has made great strides in digital economy: IMF chief

2021-04-20 14:33:07Xinhua Editor : Zhang Mingxin ECNS App Download

China has made great strides in reshaping its own economy based on technology, and now other emerging markets are getting a push from the same digital engines, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said Monday night.

Delivering remarks for the opening ceremony of Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference, Georgieva highlighted three major global changes, which include digital transformation that has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among the economies that have the largest information and communication technology sector by share of gross domestic product (GDP), 13 of the top 30 are in the emerging world, she noted.

"To further seize this opportunity, governments should scale-up smart public investments -- especially in the digital skills and infrastructure to build a 21st century workforce," she said.

Another major global change, the IMF chief said, is the shift from deep recession to recovery.

The IMF's most recent forecast puts global growth at 6 percent this year and 4.4 percent in 2022, thanks to the "extraordinary interventions" by governments, and spurred by the prospect of expanding vaccinations, she said.

However, "we must not take the recovery for granted," as there is a dangerous divergence in economic fortunes across and within countries, she said, adding that vulnerable households and viable firms will need continued support so long as the crisis persists.

"As recovery takes hold, governments can gradually scale back support programs -- but scale up targeted hiring subsidies and retraining and reskilling," she added.

The third major change is the pivot to low-carbon and resilient growth in response to climate change, said the IMF chief, who welcomed China's commitment to reach net-zero by 2060.

According to IMF analysis, a coordinated green infrastructure push combined with carbon pricing could boost global GDP in the next 15 years by 0.7 percent per year, and create millions of jobs.

"In a world of change, one thing remains constant -- the importance of solidarity between countries," Georgieva said.

This has been a key feature of the crisis -- not just the exceptional fiscal and monetary measures, but also initiatives such as the Common Framework for orderly debt resolution, agreed by the Group of 20, and the possible new Special Drawing Rights allocation of 650 billion U.S. dollars from the IMF, she continued.

"By further strengthening this kind of global cooperation, we can turn a world of change into a world of opportunity for all," she added.

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