IMF Chief Concludes China Visit with Optimistic Economic Outlook Talks
The leader of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded her visit to China with positive remarks about the discussions she held with the country’s top officials. The IMF, which had previously cautioned in July about a slowdown in the global economic recovery from the pandemic, even though it had slightly improved its world growth forecast for the current year, is now optimistic about China’s economic prospects. Specifically, the IMF predicts a 5.2% expansion in China for 2023, which is slightly higher than Beijing’s own target of approximately five percent.
However, China’s economic growth has encountered obstacles in recent months, marked by sluggish consumer demand, elevated youth unemployment, and a crisis in the critical property sector. These issues have eroded the already tepid post-COVID recovery.
During her visit, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva engaged in what she described as “productive and substantive discussions” with key Chinese leaders, including Premier Li Qiang, Vice Premier He Lifeng, central bank governor Pan Gongsheng, and Finance Minister Liu Kun. Their conversations revolved around the state of the global economy and China’s domestic developments. Georgieva emphasised the importance of the growth target not only for China but also for the broader world.
In a world vulnerable to the impacts of the ongoing COVID pandemic and geopolitical conflicts, Georgieva stressed the significance of the IMF’s financial strength in providing assistance to countries in need. She expressed gratitude for China’s recognition of the IMF’s role as a cornerstone of the global financial safety net.
Gorgieva also met with the mayor of Shanghai and Dilma Rousseff, the former Brazilian president who now leads the New Development Bank, an institution established by the BRICS emerging economies.
Earlier in the year, Georgieva had urged Chinese policymakers to focus on boosting productivity and shifting the economy towards sustainable consumption-driven growth, moving away from heavy reliance on investment. This visit to China appears to have reinforced the IMF’s commitment to supporting China’s economic goals and maintaining global financial stability.