Global economic recovery at critical juncture: WB chief economist

   Apr 20, 3:37 pm

Washington, April 19 (Xinhua): The global economic recovery is facing a critical moment although some optimism has returned in recent months, and collective global action is critical for sustaining the recovery momentum, World Bank chief economist Justin Yifu Lin has said.

Weak recovery will likely resume in major advanced economies, as lingering structural challenges including low industrial capacity utilization rates, high unemployment rates and large public debts are weighing down the growth, Lin said in a recent interview with Xinhua prior to the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and its sister organization the World Bank.

Structural reforms targeted at resolving long-term growth bottlenecks are crucial and should be carried out in a forward-looking manner, he said on the sidelines of a recent book launch event hosted by the Washington-based think-tank Center for Global Development.

The extent to which the IMF's financial firewall needs to be strengthened is a hot issue of the spring meetings and is of great importance to restoring market confidence and bolstering the fragile global recovery, noted Lin, also the World Bank's senior vice president.

Another highlight of the spring meetings would be pushing forward an array of development priorities, including job generation, social safety nets, financial inclusion, protecting the world's most vulnerable and advancing Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

"The past four years is full of challenges and opportunities for the global economy, and the same for economists in every country," said the renowned Chinese economist who will step down in June.

Lin, as the first World Bank chief economist from a developing country, has published a string of books including "New Structural Economics", "Demystifying the Chinese Economy", and "Benti and Changwu: Dialogues on Methodology in Economics" during his four-year tenure at the Washington-based global development organization.

Every developing country has the potential to grow continuously at 8 percent or more for several decades and to become a middle-income or even a high-income country in one or two generations, if their economies could be supported by governments' right policy frameworks to facilitate the development of the private sector along the lines of the country's comparative advantages and to tap into the latecomer advantages, he contended.

Lin calls for a rethinking of development economics, adding that fast and sustainable economic growth needs both a competitive market system and a facilitating state.

The 60-year-old economist said in the future he intended to be a professor at the China Center for Economic Research of Peking University, the institute that he helped to found in 1994.

The spring meetings of the IMF and World Bank was scheduled to kick off on Friday in Washington D.C., gathering central bank governors, finance ministers and other experts from around the world to discuss key global economic issues and policy action. (Xinhua-ANI)

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