China would like to see G20 leaders resist protectionism and instead, seek economic growth through innovation and reform. CCTV’s reporter spoke to some of China’s brightest business leaders to hear their proposals to G20 leaders.
“Globalization is nothing wrong. But we need to perfect it,” said Jack Ma, Alibaba founder & CEO.
Alibaba founder Jack Ma is deeply concerned about the rising anti-globalization sentiment around the world.
Founder & CEO of Alibaba, Jack Ma.
After Brexit in the UK, the US Presidential candidate Donald Trump said his country might withdraw from the WTO if he’s elected.
People don’t like globalization, not because globalization is bad. If globalization can really benefit everybody, and enable every individual and small business to take part, it will be a great stuff. So we give our proposal, and I’m honored it’s been written into B20 policy recommendation report,” said Jack Ma.
The proposal: launching an electronic World Trade Platform, or e-WTP. The aim is to enable small businesses to trade globally through e-commerce.
“OK, now some guy in Brazil wants to sell something to Argentina, how can he find his customers? Online. How can he transact money for payment? How can he solve the logistic problem? How can he solve the data problems? How can he go through customs office in an efficient way? You need a platform to help to and enable them to do this,” said Jack Ma.
Reporter asked, “Some people call it an online version of WTO, because they share similar goals of promoting global trade and fighting protectionism. What’s the difference between an organization and a platform?”
“Organization is like a treaty or agreement among the governments, so rules and laws. Platform is an enabler. We should set up a more feasible way for small business to do it,” said Jack Ma.
As the e-commerce tycoon is trying to fight anti-globalization through innovation, other leading business figures are directly urging policy changes from G20 leaders.
“We need to reduce all these protectionism measures, rolling back the old ones, and reducing all these kinds of small and regional trading agreements, which turn out to be complicated,” said Ning Gaoning, Sinochem chairman, B20 Trade & Investment Taskforce Chair.
Ning says monetary stimulus and protectionist policies have proven ineffective in the past few years. He says the global business community hopes the G20 Summit will focus on structural reforms and address the root cause.
“I think China has made an extremely important step in changing the course of G20 Presidency, away from mainly financial issues and macro-economic stabilization in the promotion of growth towards a much more inclusive approach to human well-being,” said Prof. Dennis J. Snower, president of Kiel Institute for World Economy.
With 20 of the world’s most powerful decision-makers gathering in Hangzhou, the world is watching closely to see whether the summit will make a difference after years of weak global economy.