The consensus between China and the United States to restart trade consultations is good news for the fragile world economy, two well-known Indonesian economists told Xinhua in recent interviews.
Last month, Chinese President Xi Jinping and his U.S. counterpart, Donald Trump, met on the sidelines of a summit of the Group of 20 major economies in the Japanese city of Osaka, and agreed to restart economic and trade consultations between their countries on the basis of equality and mutual respect.
Mari Elka Pangestu, Indonesia’s former trade minister and one of the country’s most reputable economists, told Xinhua that the revival of the trade talks was a positive sign.
“There is no winner in a trade war,” she said. If China-U.S. trade frictions continue, not only would it have a negative impact on the two countries, but also harm the world economy.
In early July, Pangestu attended this year’s Summer Davos Forum in Dalian, China. She said it gave her more confidence regarding China’s economic prospects.
“The Chinese government has sufficient policy tools,” she said.
China’s huge domestic market, scientific and technological capabilities, and increasingly prosperous neighboring markets such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) can all support China in upgrading its economic structure, she said.
Professor Murpin Josua Sembiring, president of Ma Chung University of Indonesia, holds a similar view.
He said that the trade tensions triggered by the United States would put Indonesia and the world at risk, and most countries in the world hope the two largest economies could defuse the situation.
“ASEAN opposes trade protectionism,” Sembiring said. “U.S. trade protectionism will also threaten ASEAN in the long term.”
Sembiring, who has visited China many times and personally witnessed China’s industrial strength, hoped that China and the United States could reach a trade agreement.
“In an integrated world, win-win cooperation is the only right way for a solution. Trade protectionism is not welcome,” Sembiring said.