China’s economy, the United States’ monetary policy, and commodity prices are the three main causes of instability in the global economy, according to France’s finance minister.
Michel Sapin said, however, that
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“I believe that there are very different causes. There are causes linked to the Asian economy, for example, especially the Chinese economy. There are causes linked to monetary policies, especially the American monetary policy. There are causes linked to commodity prices,” Sapin said on Friday, speaking in Hong Kong on his way to the G20 meetings of finance ministers and central bank governors in Shanghai on Friday.
“Because of these several causes, we cannot talk about the existence of a crisis. [But] we can talk about difficulties and each one of these difficulties has to be tackled.”
Sapin said he did not expect the G20 meeting to achieve any major breakthrough.
Rather, it would be a “G20 of continuity”, which would go on working on and implementing decisions made at the previous meeting in Antalya, Turkey, last year.
“This is not a G20 that will create new things. It’s a G20 where we will continue to implement the decisions taken before,” he said.
The French finance minister ruled out the possibility of a global fiscal stimuli package at the Shanghai meeting, but urged countries with greater fiscal capacity to use it to support global growth.
Officials could make a “diagnosis” of global woes, but they should not overreact to them, Sapin said.
“We must not overreact to the real situation of the world today or the real situation of certain countries,” he said.
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On the renminbi exchange rate, Sapin said China’s decisions in the past few months were “appropriate” and “taken in order to be able to respond to the market situation”.
France had decided, along with major French banks, to make the country the “No 1 European centre for the use and promotion of the renminbi currency”, he said.
Sapin also said he hoped China would become a full member of the Paris Club of creditor nations.
“Obviously, when I say that it’s necessary for the Paris Club to go through an enlargement, first and foremost I’m thinking about China,” he said.