US-led trade war has become biggest ‘confidence killer’ for world economy: China

Earlier this month the US and China slapped tariffs on $34 billion of each other’s imports. (Reuters)
Updated 18 July 2018
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US-led trade war has become biggest ‘confidence killer’ for world economy: China

  • ‘The US is fabricating all kinds of justifications for its trade actions, including that of national security’
  • China’s economy grew at a slower pace in the second quarter, data on Monday showed

BEIJING: The US-driven trade war has become the biggest “confidence killer” for the global economy, China’s foreign ministry warned on Wednesday, saying the whole world would fight back if the US continued to be “willful.”
Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters at a regular press briefing that the US is fabricating all kinds of justifications for its trade actions, including that of national security.
Earlier this month the US and China slapped tariffs on $34 billion of each other’s imports in an escalating trade tussle that has roiled financial markets.
US President Donald Trump has threatened further tariffs unless Beijing agrees to change its intellectual property practices and high-technology industrial subsidy plans.
Trump has also hit European metal imports with tariffs and has threatened to curb car imports from Europe with a 20 percent duty.
“The US trade war is not just with China but with the rest of the world. By regarding the rest of the world as adversaries, the US has dragged the entire global economy into a place of danger,” Hua said.
The European Commission last week cut its forecasts for the euro zone’s economic growth this year, saying the main causes for the revision were trade tensions with the US as well as higher oil prices.
China’s economy grew at a slower pace in the second quarter, data on Monday showed, with Beijing’s trade dispute with Washington challenging the growth outlook for the world’s second-biggest economy.
“If the US continues to be willful, countries around the world will only harden their resolve to hit back,” Hua said.


Multibillion-dollar deals expected as investment forum looks east

Participants watch a movie highlighting the Red Sea project at last year’s Future Investment Initiatives conference in Riyadh. (AFP)
Updated 23 October 2018
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Multibillion-dollar deals expected as investment forum looks east

  • The Future Investment Initiative is tipped to see big investment partnerships from Russia and China
  • The FII is a key event in showcasing Saudi Arabia’s investment opportunities and economy, and linking foreign and local businessmen

RIYADH: A major investment show in Saudi Arabia is expected to attract thousands of delegates and see deals worth hundreds of billions of dollars — despite several largely “symbolic” last-minute cancelations by speakers.

The Future Investment Initiative, which starts on Tuesday, is tipped to see big investment partnerships from Russia and China, despite several executives, mostly Western, pulling out after the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Many of those Western firms have however sent lower-level representatives or regional heads — with big business likely to be done, Saudi officials said.

Speakers from the Russian Direct Investment Fund, Russia-China Investment Fund and electronics giant Samsung are all billed to speak at the event. They join Saudi speakers including Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih, Yasir Al-Rumayyan, head of the Public Investment Fund (PIF), and sports official Princess Reema bint Bandar. 

“Investing in transformation,” “technology as opportunity” and “advancing human potential” are among the FII’s themes. Held at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh, the three-day event is billed as a “blueprint for the 22nd century.”

Ellen Wald, president of the Transversal Consulting think-tank and author of the recent book “Saudi Inc,” said many executives — notably those from Russia and further east — were still looking to do business at the event despite some having pulled out.

“I think the big pull-out of CEOs is not really reflective of the corporate interest in the Kingdom because we see them sending their next level of executives along. So to some degree it is symbolic,” she told Arab News. “In terms of attracting foreign investment, Saudi Arabia could have strategic leverage with Russia and China, and a unique opportunity to work on cutting-edge technologies.”

John Sfakianakis, director of economic research at the Gulf Research Center in Saudi Arabia, said he expected the event to be a success. 

“The FII is a key event in showcasing Saudi Arabia’s investment opportunities and economy, and linking foreign and local businessmen,” he told Arab News.