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China needs to reform the financial system, and this should be done slowly

China’s foreign reserves slipped below the $3 trillion level in January, the lowest level since February 2011. In the background of a lacking economic confidence and rising trade protectionism throughout the world, the implications of the decline of China’s foreign reserves remains to be seen. It is a concern because the world has been used to China accumulating reserves. The main concern is not the level of reserves, but is the trend.

Don’t just look at current account but the sum of current and capital account

In Jan, the figure of China’s import and export is far beyond expection. Export increase by 7.9% increase YoY calculated by USD, and 15.2% increase if calculated by RMB. Import also increased dramatically, with 16.7% by USD and 25.2% by RMB. My advice is from now on to look at the combined values of both current account and capital accounts, roughly speaking trade and capital investment balances.

EU overestimates its negotiating power vis a vis China

“I welcomed President Xi Jinping’s commitment in fighting against protectionism,” EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said at a seminar on China’s reform agenda, organized by Business Europe in Brussels. I think the EU representatives don’t seem to fully understand that China does not intend to deal with Europe as a block, rather it prefers to do bilateral deals with individual countries, of course within the limits of what EU regulation allows since trade policy lives in Brussels and not in the European individual countries.

Draghi discute di Europa, ma non mi convince

Oggi commento, paragrafo dopo paragrafo, il discorso di Draghi tenuto in Slovenia.Il Predidente della BCE, ammette che, ad oggi, la zona Euro non soddisfa le condizioni per avere una moneta comune. Tuttavia lo potrebbe diventare se 1) nessuno stato commettesse errori di politica economica; 2) se si facessero riforme strutturali; 3) se ci fosse maggior rigore nei deficit e 4) se si arrivasse ad un unione finanziaria. La differenza tra chi sostiene l’Euro e chi no si risolve quindi nella fiducia o meno che tali quattro punti si realizzino in tempi brevi.

Xi Switzerland: EU needs to be careful

President Xi Jinping arrived in Switzerland on Sunday for his first state visit to the country and his first meeting of the World Economic Forum, a major annual gathering of global political and corporate leaders. This is the second time in a few weeks that China takes steps to build closer relationship with European non-EU members. After re-establishing links with Norway a few days ago, this week we should pay attention to Xi announcement with Switzerland.

China and Norway friends again: impact on EU?

China and Norway decided on Dec 19, 2016, to normalize relations after six years of freeze. It is not going to make Mr. Juncker very happy. It shows that countries can liaise with China on equal terms regardless of their size. In a way this makes the argument for “a stronger united Europe” less strong. Having said that, one should also not read too much into it, as EU political crisis surely is not the result of China getting in the way.

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