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China on Track for 7.5% Annual Growth, Premier Says

Sept. 11, 2014

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang says China is on course to hit its annual growth target of about 7.5 per cent this year. 

This, as he sought to reassure a high-profile gathering of Chinese and overseas executives that the world's number two economy continues to welcome foreigners and remains committed to overhauls. 

Mr Li's comments at a gathering of the World Economic Forum come as more foreign companies in China express worries. 


Recent polls by business groups showed rising concerns about the country's slowing economic growth, the pace of overhauls and stepped-up enforcement of the country's pricing and anti-trust laws. 

Mr Li reiterated China's stance that it treats foreign and domestic companies equally when it enforces the law.


US Sees Hurdles in China Joining Pacific Trade Pact

Reuters

China's Vice President Li Yuanchao and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns (L) pose for a photo as they shake hands during a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Jan. 22, 2014.

WASHINGTON — Washington wants progress on an investment treaty with Beijing before it considers expanding an eventual Pacific-region trade pact to include China, a top U.S. official said on Thursday.
 
U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said the United States was open to other countries joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) being negotiated by Washington and 11 other nations.
 
However, before China can be considered, Washington wants movement on a bilateral investment treaty.
 
“We'll want to see whether we can make progress there first,” Froman said during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
 
Beijing said in May it would consider joining the TPP, which would establish a free-trade bloc stretching from Vietnam to Chile and Japan, encompassing about 800 million people and almost 40 percent of the global economy.
 
Other countries, including South Korea, have also expressed interest in joining, although Washington has said they would have to wait until the current negotiators reach a deal.
 
Washington had hoped for a deal by the end of 2013, but that did not happen in part because of differences over farm tariffs between the United States and Japan.
 
The countries already in the talks are the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam, Chile, Mexico and Peru.
 
The United States and China agreed in July to restart stalled negotiations on an investment treaty, with Beijing dropping efforts to protect some sectors of its economy.
 
Froman said the renewed talks with Beijing would be part of a larger agreement.
 
“That's where I think our focus should be because those are key elements of any investment chapter,” he added.

IMF Warns More Work Needed to Reduce Big Bank Risk

Reuters

FILE - Staff stand in a meeting room at Lehman Brothers offices in the financial district of Canary Wharf in London, September 2008.

WASHINGTON — Big banks still pose a threat to the global financial system because there is a general assumption that governments will come to their rescue in case of trouble, an International Monetary Fund executive said on Thursday.

“It is astonishing that officials in countries are still largely ill-equipped to deal with a Lehman Brothers-style bankruptcy, where assets and liabilities are scattered across multiple jurisdictions and entities,” Jose Vinals, tasked with financial oversight at the IMF, said in a blog post.

The 2008 bankruptcy of investment bank Lehman Brothers marked the height of the global credit crisis, and many of the reforms that have since been implemented were aimed at preventing a repeat of such a collapse.

During the financial crisis, a number of the world's big banks were bailed out by governments with billions of dollars in taxpayer money.

“The not-so-good news is that, despite these efforts, implicit subsidies to these systemically important financial institutions remain too large,” Vinals said, who said a related IMF study was due in April.

The problem of so-called too-big-to-fail banks is a priority for regulators in the Group of 20, which is due to convene in November and expected to discuss a global financial reform agenda, Vinals said.

The G20 includes Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the UK, the United States and the European Union.

The Basel III bank capital rules require banks to borrow less to fund their business, so they are better able to deal with problems. Governments have also told banks to draw up plans that would enable them to systematically unwind their businesses if the necessity arose.

The United States and Europe are putting into place so-called resolution authorities that would protect the wider financial system without the use of taxpayer funds in the event a bank needed to be bailed out.

Vinals said the G20 had “yet to do much of the heavy lifting” to sort out what would happen if a bank with major operations abroad were to go under.

 


 

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