Isabel Saco |
Davos (Switzerland) (EFE).- The recovery of the Chinese economy after the lifting of the anti-covid measures will take a few months and once its demand for gas and other products occurs, it will skyrocket, entering into direct competition with Europe and putting pressure on the the price of this fuel rises.
This is the projection made in an interview with EFE by the chief economist of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Beata Javorcik, about the new economic horizon that opens after the reopening of China after two years of restrictions due to the pandemic.
“The lifting of covid restrictions is a double-edged sword for the global economy. In the short term, economic growth in China will cool down, but in a few months there will be a rebound effect, with the global impact that this entails, ”he said in a section of his participation in the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Javorcik said that the influence of Chinese demand will push up the price of natural gas, which, although it has fallen in recent months, “in real terms is at record levels that have not been seen since 1981.”
“If we believe in future markets, gas prices will increase in the coming months and will not drop until 2026,” he commented.
“2023 will be a difficult year and the high price of gas will affect the competitiveness of European industrial centers,” he anticipated.
The economist pointed out that 2022 was -despite the multiple crises- “a better year than expected” because in the first half of the year consumers in many countries spent the savings accumulated during the pandemic, which boosted growth.
At the same time, the winter in the northern hemisphere is turning out to be milder than expected, which has allowed several companies to switch to alternative fuels, he added.
Regarding the war in Ukraine, the EBRD’s main economic adviser said that it is difficult to think of returning to economic normality if the armed conflict does not end, particularly given the uncertainty that this situation causes in Europe.
“If the war continues, there is always a possibility of escalation, which would disrupt food exports and then there would be pressure on global food prices,” he explained.
On the other hand, the chief economist commented that the negative impact that it was feared that the war would have in the countries of Central Asia, dependent both on the remittances sent from Russia, as well as on the logistics and infrastructure of this country, has not occurred. last for their exports.
According to the bank’s analysis, Central Asian countries have become intermediaries of trade between the West and Russia, subject to international sanctions for its military aggression against Ukraine.
“Statistics indicate that there was a large drop in direct trade with Russia, but there was a sharp increase in exports from the West to Central Asia, and an increase in exports from this region to Russia. In other words, the trade does not go directly from the West to Russia, but goes through Central Asia, ”he explained.
In the first months of the war, 2,000 Russian-funded companies were registered in Kazakhstan, which may be playing a key role in brokering trade.