BERLIN — China called for more global cooperation in addressing the steel overcapacity across the world on Thursday at the ministerial meeting of Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity held in Berlin.
"Steel overcapacity is a common challenge facing countries across the world, rather than a problem unique to one country," Li Chenggang, assistant commerce minister of China, told a press conference following the meeting.
He said the Chinese government has taken measures in recent years to push forward the supply-side structural reform in the steel sector and successfully reduced excess capacity by over 100 million tons since 2016.
According to information shared among members of the Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity, from 2014 to 2016, China's capacity reduction is more than 120 percent of the total cut of the rest of the world.
All the cuts cost China a hefty price. Alone in 2016, 201,000 steel workers were relocated in China, which is greater than the respective numbers of steel jobs in the US and Japan.
Li emphasized, China takes the lead in eliminating steel overcapacity with self-aware, proactive, determined and persistent actions, making key contributions to the development of the global steel industry.
But China doesn't want to be the only one that is making painful efforts, "while the rest of the world just watches", he said.
China welcomes the consensuses forged at the Forum and hopes that moving forward, the members will further strengthen information sharing and cooperation to steer the steel industry, Li said.
Brigitte Zypries, German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy and Chair of the meeting, said, "I am delighted that the G20 countries and other OECD countries have been able to agree on a report on steel, setting out concrete recommendations for reducing global capacities in the steel sector."
According to the agreed report, the members will enhance the market function, refrain from market-distorting subsidies and share information for a greater transparency.
The Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity was founded in December 2016 following the consensus of G20 Hangzhou Summit. It has a total of 33 members (G20 countries, interested OECD countries and representatives of the OECD).
As required by the Hamburg G20 Declaration, the Global Forum is to deliver a substantive report with concrete policy solutions by November 2017, as a basis for tangible and swift policy action.