(Yicai Global) Nov. 22 -- Encouraging global free trade and investment is critical if the world is to reverse the decline in foreign direct investment over the past several years, according to the chairman of the US-China Green Fund.
A slowdown in global economic growth is causing the decline in cross-border investment, Xu Lin, who was a major player in China's negotiations to join the World Trade Organization, told Yicai Global at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum yesterday. There is a close link between cross-border investment and free trade and a rise in populism and trade protection is hampering globalization and worldwide economic expansion, he added.
Global FDI has been on the decline since a surge in 2015, according to figures from the United Nations' World Investment Reports from 2016 through 2019. It slid from USD1.8 trillion in 2015 to USD1.75 trillion in 2016, before continuing to slide to USD1.5 trillion in 2017 and USD1.3 trillion last year.
"We must take measures to address this issue," Xu said, adding that a consolidated multilateral system would facilitate and guarantee global free trade and investment. "Otherwise, I am not optimistic that we'll see a rapid recovery in global investment."
China's State Administration for Industry and Commerce established the US-China Green Fund in 2016 with approval from the cabinet, or State Council, as part of a push toward enhancing global cooperation and economic governance.
Editor: James Boynton