Wed, 03 Mar 2021

HONG KONG, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- China will be a "major force contributing to the global economic growth" in the post-COVID-19 era, Jose Vinals, group chairman of Standard Chartered PLC, said Monday.

"Emerging Asia, in particular the Asia-Pacific, is leading the recovery and will continue to do so even more clearly as the year advances," Vinals said when addressing an online financial forum in Hong Kong. "I think this is mainly thanks to China."

Vinals forecast China's GDP will likely grow around 8 percent year on year in 2021, a strong rebound from last year.

With its GDP expanding 2.3 percent in 2020, China is set to become the only major economy to post expansion in a year ravaged by the pandemic, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed Monday.

Vinals forecast a nearly-5-percent increase in the global economy this year, with a pick-up in private spending, consumption and investment in the second half, thanks to the vaccine rollout and continued fiscal and monetary policy support.

Asian economies including the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and India will also be supportive in the global recovery, and the economy of the United States and Europe will likely grow 3 percent to 4 percent this year, respectively, he said, adding that there will be a slower recovery in Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America.

Despite the global rebound in the pipeline, Vinals said it will "take still a couple of years in most parts of the world" to return to the level before the COVID-19 outbreak.

Vinals also said that he hopes with the new U.S. administration, the China-U.S. relationship can become "stable, predictable, multilateral and constructive," which would be "great for the world."

The 14th Asian Financial Forum running from Monday to Tuesday was organized by the government of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Hong Kong Trade Development Council.

Under the theme "Reshaping the World Economic Landscape", the forum assembled online more than 160 policymakers, financial experts, investors, business leaders and economists from across the world.

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