Financial Times reports, "...from VW to Apple, the Chinese economy is now the world's business. No international brand can safely ignore China's economic prospects. On a market exchange-rate basis, China accounted for 16 per cent of the global economy in 2018. But for global businesses, what matters more is growth. China's rapid development and 1.4bn consumers have helped it to account for about 30 per cent of worldwide growth for the past decade even as its domestic expansion has slowed...China's rift with the US has compounded fears for the global economy. The trade war may have had little direct effect on global trade volumes, but it has undermined business confidence. Manufacturing has been particularly affected, with sentiment and output indicators in the US, Europe and Asia performing poorly. Financial markets are worried and economists are rapidly revising down global growth forecasts. The World Bank said on January 8 that "storm clouds are brewing for the global economy". There have been sharp drops in stock and oil prices over the past three months while there is a widely held expectation that interest rates will rise.
Bloomberg reports that China will work to tackle trade friction with the U.S. this year, Commerce Minister Zhong Shan said in an interview with Chinese state media that followed three days of talks between the nations and perked up troubled financial markets. The Ministry of Commerce, which has set trade negotiations as one of its priorities in 2019, will push talks forward and boost cooperation with U.S. states, cities, business communities and non-governmental groups in order to promote a stable bilateral trade relationship, the state news service Xinhua reported, citing an interview Zhong granted to it and a number of other Chinese agencies.Talks between mid-level U.S. and Chinese officials in Beijing concluded on Wednesday. The negotiations were extended for a day, which added to optimism fueled by recent tweets from President Donald Trump that the two sides are making progress toward an agreement. U.S. and Chinese stocks have advanced in the early days of 2019 on fresh hope for a breakthrough in the showdown between the world's two largest economies. There are about seven weeks before the U.S.-imposed deadline for a deal, after which Trump may order a resumption of tariff hikes on imports from China.