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BEIJING: China’s Finance Minister Xiao Jie, who attended last week’s G20 meeting, warned that momentum seen in the global economy could be curbed by policy uncertainties and the rise of protectionism.

G20 finance ministers and central bankers, in their communiqué issued following a gathering in the German resort town of Baden-Baden, dropped a pledge to keep global trade free and open, acquiescing to an increasingly protectionist United States.

Instead, they merely made a token reference to trade in their main communiqué by saying the G20 would work together to strengthen the contribution of trade to their economies.

“Markets are currently worried about the uncertain policies of some developed economies, and are concerned that the rise of protectionism could adversely affect the (global) economic recovery,” Xiao said, according to a post on the Chinese central bank’s website late on Monday.

He did not identify the developed economies.

By contrast, at the gathering in the Chinese city of Hangzhou in September last year, G20 leaders agreed to work harder to build an open world economy, reject protectionism, and promote global trade and investment.

Published in Dawn, March 21st, 2017