Container ships dock at Rizhao Port, Shandong province, on Oct. 28, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]
2022 has been a hellish year for the global economy, to put it mildly. Dogged by large-scale upheavals and uncertainties, including the aftermath of the global COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, the outlook has become overwhelmingly negative as nations are hit with successive waves of inflation, falling investor confidence, and surging energy prices. Many major economies have effectively fallen back into recession, while others have experienced several quarters of contraction and will only attain minimal growth. The events of the year ultimately show the unpredictability of politics, with its events having swept away what many major economists had first predicted to be another year of recovery.
As such, the world is already looking forward to 2023. Perhaps it will be a better year for the world as a whole, and there will be fewer uncertainties, bringing new opportunities for growth. It is of course impossible to predict the future, but if the major impediments of 2022 can be overcome, then perhaps 2023 will bring more normality in global politics and sweep away the lingering issues of inflation and the energy crisis. Either way, one thing is for sure: China will continue to play a critical role in facilitating global growth in the coming year.
Following China's dramatic easing of its strict pandemic prevention and control restrictions, more economic stimulus measures are expected to be launched in a bid to bring the country back to normality as soon as possible. Despite the admittedly heavy economic toll, China's policy has saved millions of lives and prevented a colossal situation whereby many people lost their lives, as seen in the United States and other Western countries.
Now, China is reopening, and its growth trajectory is returning to normal.
Some economists and agencies have raised their predictions for China's economic growth next year and its potential possibility of achieving an increase in its GDP growth rate in 2023. Consumption and the rebounding of travel will have an immediate run-on effect on other countries as well, as China possesses the largest and most lucrative consumer market in the world. As the world's second-largest source of foreign investment and a major trading partner of more than 130 countries and regions, China's economic importance and growth prospects will continue to attract more foreign investment given its favorable measures to widen market access and boost high-level opening-up. The coming year is likely to see China establishing closer bonds with more partners in different regions and the world at large.
Economic growth and shared prosperity can only be secured if there is stability and certainty. Given the world today, it is impossible to guarantee anything, and countries of the world must be able to come together to combat these respective challenges by resisting the divisive and ideological rifts that the U.S. is driving into the world, which have been an influential factor in creating uncertainty. Most countries of the world benefit significantly from globalization, and China, with its specific actions, shows that cooperation and economic engagement are better ways to ensure continued growth. Although China has experienced challenges like everyone else, it still wields large-scale potential and rewards and, as such, remains critical to continued global growth and development. What will the next year bring in this regard? Only time will tell.
Tom Fowdy is a British political and international relations analyst and a graduate of Durham and Oxford universities. For more information please visit:
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