Global economy 'grim' and G20 must step up to fix it: China

SHANGHAI In the face of a "worrying" rise in protectionism, trade ministers from the world's major economies have agreed to cut trade costs, increase policy coordination and enhance financing, China's Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng said on Sunday.

"Turkey, leaving behind many developed and developing countries, attained growth of 4 percent in 2015 and 4.8 percent in the first quarter of 2016", he said at the G20 Trade Ministers Meeting in Shanghai.

In a statement, Trade Minister Tareq Qabil, who leads the Egyptian delegation to the event, said inviting Egypt to such important worldwide event is a key chance to contribute to forging the new global economic system and comprehensive and sustainable development plans.

They also vowed to cut global trade cost by 15 percent, without giving a due date.

The G20 Trade Ministers' meeting has begun on Saturday morning in Shanghai.

Ahead of the meeting, WTO chief economist Robert Koopman warned that restrictive measures could affect industries including air freight cargo, sea based cargo, automobile sales and production, electronics trade, and agricultural raw materials. This year is expected to be the fifth in a row when trade grew at less than 3 percent - its weakest sustained level in 30 years, WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo said on Friday.

During the two-day meeting, Trade and Energy Minister Joo Hyung-hwan and his Chinese counterpart Gao Hucheng agreed to push for a series of joint economic projects, including a campaign to advance into a market in a third country.

According to the World Trade Organisation, the average monthly number of new trade-restrictive measures imposed by G20 economies reached a record high in the seven-month period to mid-May, the latest period for which data was available.

He said China reduced steel capacity by 90 million tonnes in the five years to the end of last year and promised to cut another 1 trillion to 1.5 trillion tonnes in the five years to the end of 2020.

The comments underscored growing concerns about the global economy and the trend toward rising trade restrictions, which have deepened since Britons voted to leave the European Union, raising fears of a global recession. "Low levels of global trade and investment have not recovered to their pre-financial crisis levels".

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