Speaking to the Bangkok Post newspaper in Bangkok, Dr. Supachai said that with major economies still barely growing four years after the financial crisis that began on Wall Street, the world had high hopes that China could prop up the global economy. But this was unrealistic, he said, since China itself is still a developing country, with an economy which, while getting bigger by the day, is still half the size of those of the US and Europe.
China's real role is to maintain Asia's economic stability, he added. As the growth engine of Asia, China needs a soft landing to sustain the supply chain that feeds the rest of the world market.
"We should allow China to have a soft landing because Beijing has seen high inflation and a bubble in the real estate sector," Dr. Supachai was quoted as saying by the Bangkok Post in an article published on 30 July. "Some people are worried that the Chinese economy was plummeting; in fact the measures undertaken were to address the bubble."
China's growth this year is expected to slow down to around 8% and that would be good enough, the newspaper quoted Dr. Supachai as saying.
The UNCTAD Secretary-General was also quoted as advising South-East Asian countries to follow the example of China and focus on building infrastructure to help keep their economies on a growth path.
Dr. Supachai delivered a keynote address to an Academic Symposium in Bangkok on 27 July on the challenges and opportunities of the global economy.