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Lack of focus hampers crisis fight

[ 2011-11-29 15:26]     字号 [] [] []  
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Distracted by their own domestic concerns, global leaders do not have the energy to fully concentrate on world economic problems, said the chief of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

"Frankly, things do not look good," said Pascal Lamy, WTO director-general, in an exclusive interview with China Daily.

He said that the capacity of global leaders to address the problem is too weak."

Because of that, Lamy said, the unfolding wave of global economic crises will be less violent but more durable compared to the last major crisis in 2008-09.

The stubbornness of the crises has weakened the authority and legitimacy that leaders require to bring about global solutions.

He said the political leaders have to focus more on where they are accountable, which is their domestic affairs.

"There is no global accountability, no global voter. As a result of that, the energy which is available in the international system to compromise and converge is not 100percent of what I want, only 70 percent," said Lamy.

Speaking prior to a celebration marking China's 10th anniversary of its entry into the WTO, Lamy said the outlook for the global economy has worsened considerably in recent months, especially amid the European sovereignty debt crisis.

But for Lamy, the world has seen two crises: an economic crisis and a crisis in global leadership.

Since last May when the European debt crisis erupted, the European Council and euro groupleaders have met seven times but so far have failed to come up with solutions.

Sovereignty credits and bonds have been downgraded recently in Hungary, Portugal and Belgium, while the situation has been going from bad to worse in Greece and Italy despite changes in government.

According to a WTO report unveiled last week, world trade has grown more slowly than expected in recent months because developed economies have been hit by shrinking globaldemand, the impact of natural disasters, cuts in national budgets, credit conditions and the sovereign debt crisis.

Trade growth in developing countries has also been adversely affected by global developments, including signs of overheating in some major emerging markets.

Lamy said the United States, Europe and Japan - which have contributed to 50 percent of global growth - need to make the necessary fiscal adjustments and debt reductions without slowing their economy too much as any downside will affect the economies of developing and emerging countries.

Lamy will head for Beijing to attend a ceremony on Dec 10 to mark a decade of Chinese membership in the WTO, which he believed is a "success story" with a lot of turbulence.

(中国日报网英语点津 Rosy 编辑)

Lack of focus hampers crisis fight

About the broadcaster:

Lack of focus hampers crisis fight

Emily Cheng is an editor at China Daily. She was born in Sydney, Australia and graduated from the University of Sydney with a degree in Media, English Literature and Politics. She has worked in the media industry since starting university and this is the third time she has settled abroad - she interned with a magazine in Hong Kong 2007 and studied at the University of Leeds in 2009.