NEW YORK - China and the United States have great potential in infrastructure and trade cooperation in the new year to drive economic growth, said former Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of World Bank Yifu Lin on Thursday.
Lin, also the honorary dean of National School of Development at Peking University, made the remarks while delivering a keynote speech at a meeting hosted by the National Committee on US-China Relations and Peking University's China Center for Economic Research in New York.
He emphasized the importance of infrastructure investment in lifting economies out of crisis.
"China has been using infrastructure as counter-cyclical method effectively since the Asian financial crisis, and the country will continue to do that, not only domestically, but also internationally," said Lin.
Lin said that both China's Belt and Road Initiative and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank focus on infrastructure.
"We hope these initiatives will embrace all countries including the US," he added.
He said the United States now understands how important infrastructure is to domestic economic growth, and that the country will expand infrastructure investment and construction under the new administration.
"China and the US should work together so that we have a truly global infrastructure initiative," said Lin.
He explained that such an initiative will do good to the developing countries because there are a lot of bottlenecks in their infrastructure. On the other hand, high-income countries will benefit from investing in developing countries as they expand exports.
Asked about possible trade frictions between the two countries after President-elect Donald Trump assumes office, Lin said people should expect trade cooperation instead of conflict.
"In terms of trade, what is good for the US is good for China, and vice versa," he said, adding the two countries can find common ground to support dynamic growth for both nations after serious talks.
He said Trump certainly does not want US consumers to suffer and imposing higher tariffs on goods imported from China will hurt the interests of US consumers.
Lin said if high tariffs are imposed, the United States will have the choice of continuing to import goods from China or importing goods from other countries that are currently more expensive than goods made in China. In both cases, consumers in the country have to pay more.