More than US-China deal needed to boost GDP

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says the current economic growth in Nigeria is too slow to address the scale of poverty in the country.

Mnuchin said negotiations last week between the United States and China, the world's two biggest economies, had achieved "substantial progress" on phase one of a trade deal.

"The intensification in trade tensions between the US and China could further weigh on confidence and financial markets, thereby weakening trade, investment and growth", he said.

"Trade tensions are now taking a toll on business confidence and investment", IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said.

China would be victor of trade war between USA and European Union.

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World Bank President David Malpass said the slowdown in global growth was hurting efforts to help the 700 million people around the world living in extreme poverty, especially in nations trying to cope with a flood of refugees from regional conflicts.

"What we need is to reach, not just truce, we need to have trade peace", so that trade can "return to its role of an engine of the world economy", she said, after having replaced French economic Christine Lagarde as International Monetary Fund chief in early October.

The US-Chinese trade war will reduce growth in both nations in 2019 and 2020, and that slowdown will drag down the rest of the world economy, which this year will grow by just 3 per cent, its slowest rate since the financial crisis. So far those efforts have made little headway.

But the current disputes have created uncertainty and growth in worldwide commerce has come to a virtual standstill, Georgieva said, noting that problems go beyond bilateral disagreements and extend to outdated trade rules.

He said he and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer would speak by phone with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, the head of the Chinese negotiating team, next week and planned to meet with him in Santiago, Chile, before the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders' summit on November 16-17.

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In the area of economic diversification, Georgieva said, "We have been consistently recommending the country to diversify the economy because reliance on oil does not serve very well and that means to continue with structural reforms that would make that possible".

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who holds an effective veto over major Fund decisions, endorsed the move, which calls for a doubling of the IMF's crisis lending fund to about $500 billion, restoring it to levels during the 2008-09 financial crisis.

She said she hoped this week's talks would focus on ways to ease trade tensions and begin the groundwork to update the rules of world trade.

While the United States has outshined other industrialized economies this year, there are increasing signs that Trump's trade wars have wounded American industries, with manufacturing and agriculture badly damaged, exports weakening and investments by businesses sharply curtailed.

Although Washington did postpone plans to increase tariffs on some $250 billion of Chinese imports - which had been due to take effect earlier this week - it is still up in the air whether another USA tariff hike due on December 15 will be implemented.

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"We have been reaching agreements on trade based primarily on the past", she said.

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