A senior Chinese central bank official sought Wednesday to downplay concerns that China’s economic slowdown will further drag down the global economy.
“I would say don’t worry,” said Yi Gang, deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China, after the International Monetary Fund warned of risks in China’s economic challenges.
“China will still have pretty much middle-to-high growth in the near future,” said Yi, speaking in Lima where the IMF-World Bank annual meetings were beginning. “A lot of people are considering a slowdown of the Chinese economy,” he said, referring to how the downturn has helped send global commodity prices plummeting, hurting the economies of exporters.
But he insisted that Chinese imports of raw materials for its industrial economy would grow steadily in the future.
Yi meanwhile welcomed the agreement by 12 Pacific Rim countries led by the United States and Japan—but excluding China—to form a giant new free-trade zone, the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Beijing has sought to counter the TPP, agreed Monday after grueling negotiations in Atlanta, with its own regional trade organization, and has not officially commented on the deal yet. But Yi said Beijing “has an open mind to the TPP” and is ready to cooperate with the group.
The TPP treaty still awaits the signature and ratification of the governments of the 12 countries, which is likely to take well into 2016.