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Watch Cornell Professor Eswar Prasad discuss the current state of the Chinese economy on “Bloomberg Surveillance”

Eswar Prasad speakerSpeaking on “Bloomberg Surveillance”, Eswar Prasad – a professor in the Dyson School at Cornell University, former head of the IMF’s China Division and the author of “The Dollar Trap” – offers his valuable insights on the state of the Chinese economy.

Eswar explains that although China’s manufacturing sector is currently not performing well – giving an impression that the economy is experiencing a rough patch – there are some strengths, particularly in the services sector. He goes on to point out some of the challenges facing the Chinese government, namely the need to crack down on inconsistent corporate governance.

Watch the video above for more, or click here to read an op-ed by Eswar in the New York Times, titled “China’s Fitful Economic Reforms”.

For more information on how to book Eswar Prasad as a speaker for your conference or event, please contact Leo von Bülow-Quirk at or call 0044 (0) 20 7792 8000.

Stein Ringen, expert speaker on social and public policy, to publish “The Perfect Dictatorship: China in the 21st Century” in 2016

Stein RingenStein Ringen speaker - Photo by Ben Danner, an internationally renowned political scientist who explores the art of governance, will be publishing a book titled “The Perfect Dictatorship: China in the 21st Century”, to be released in 2016 by Hong Kong University Press. Ringen argues that the Chinese system is like no other known in history; this book explains how this system works and where it may be moving.

“A new interpretation of the Chinese party-state.” – Professor Tony Saich

By analysing the leadership of Xi Jinping, the meaning of “socialist market economy”, corruption, the party-state apparatus, the reach of the party, the mechanisms of repression, taxation and public services, and state-society relations, the book broadens the field of China studies, as well as the fields of political economy, comparative politics, development and welfare state studies.

Drawing on Chinese and international sources, on extensive collaboration with Chinese scholars, and on the political science of state analysis, Ringen concludes that “under the new leadership of Xi Jinping, the system of government has been transformed into a new regime, radically harder and more ideological than the legacy of Deng Xiaoping, and that China is less strong economically and more dictatorial politically than the world wanted to believe.”

In collaboration with the publisher, and complementing his forthcoming book, Ringen has also launched a blog – – which covers a range of topics associated with China’s emergence on the global stage.

For more information on how to book Stein Ringen for your conference or client event, please get in touch with Leo von Bülow-Quirk at or call on +44 (0) 20 7792 8000.

Keyu Jin discusses economic “rebalancing” in China

Writing in Project Syndicate, Keyu Jin, discusses the economic “rebalancing” Chinese leaders have been pursuing for several years. The country’s current growth model is to be replaced by one based on services and domestic consumption, which she believes is a distant prospect.

One reason Chinese households are unlikely to increase their spending is the imperative faced by China’s older workers to save for retirement. However, Jin explains that after more than three decades of the one child policy, retirees cannot expect as much support, and China’s pension system lacks the strength to pick up the slack. Another reason China’s households will avoid spending, is because their income’s share of GDP has been falling.

Jin describes two major problems, “First, China’s growth model is distorted, as it emphasises investment over employment growth and depends partly on wage suppression to subsidise production and exports. Second, financial repression has capped Chinese households’ savings at about a zero real rate of return.”

Ultimately, Jin doesn’t believe that China’s quest for higher domestic consumption is destined to fail, as China’s younger generation is optimistic about the future, and aware of their quality of life. They are more inclined than their parents to spend on services and nondurable goods. She explains that when they reach middle age, China’s consumption landscape may be completely different. In the meantime, “China will need to patient, recognising that the current generation is simply too fixated on saving to provide the kind of surge in consumption that is needed.”

Click here to read the full article.


“Whose Century Is It, Anyway?”: watch award-winning journalist Clay Chandler chair debate on the US-China power shift

Clay Chandler speakerDespite slowing growth rates and recent turbulence in its stock markets, China remains the global economy’s most important source of growth. It is now widely believed, even under the most conservative assumptions, that China will overtake the US as the world’s largest economy sometime within the next 10 years. After more than a decade of rapid economic expansion and double-digit increases to its military budget, China shows a new confidence on the global stage.

In an effort to understand these shifts in power, and bring new insights on the future of the global economy and the relations between the US and China, the Asia Society Hong Kong Center put together a panel of distinguished experts, chaired by Clay Chandler – an award-winning journalist and leading analyst of Asia’s key economies – to debate over the topic of “Whose Century Is It, Anyway?”.

Is the era of US global leadership finally drawing to a close? Is it already over? Will it be replaced by an “Asian Century” led by China? How might an Asian Century differ from the status quo? Watch these experts weigh in on matters of money, power, prestige and the future of the global economy.

For more information, or to book Clay Chandler as a keynote speaker for your conference or event, please contact Raleigh Addington at or call 972-385-1021. 

Dr. Razeen Sally of the University of Singapore outlines three megatrends in the Asia-Pacific region

Dr. Razeen Sally of the University of Singapore addressed members of the Asia-Pacific Corporate Development Leaders Network in Singapore on 5 February 2015. He discussed three megatrends in the Asia-Pacific region:

  • Globalisation of supply chains
  • Shift from energy scarcity to energy abundance as a result of the shale revolution in the US
  • Urbanisation – the rise of both established and new cities in the region

Globalisation of supply chains

Fundamental changes in supply chains are revolutionising international trade. According to the World Trade Organization, there is a shift from the traditional model based on start-to-finish production in individual countries to a more dynamic and complex environment where production is fragmented across borders and in which services and logistics are much more important – all to serve global markets.

North America, Europe and East Asia are the three main hubs supporting these supply chains, which are concentrated in the information and communications technology (ICT) and manufacturing sectors.

The globalisation of supply chains will likely have the following outcomes:

  1. Tighter integration between imports and exports
  2. Altered trade balances around the world
  3. Increased services content; today services is around 50% of global trade measured in value-added terms

Recentralisation and decentralisation of supply chains will become key issues. Decentralisation will likely prevail – for two reasons.

First, there is potential for geographic expansion to Southeast and South Asia, especially as low-cost production migrates out of China’s coastal regions. With policy changes such as labour market deregulation, India could grab much of the labour-intensive part of manufacturing supply chains. And second, supply chain fragmentation will likely spread from ICT manufacturing to other parts of manufacturing, services and even parts of agriculture.

Currently, there is a disconnect between supply chain realities and trade negotiations with respect to all sorts of non-tariff and regulatory barriers. The WTO and most free trade agreements have weak disciplines on regulatory barriers to trade and investment. There are three initiatives in the Asia-Pacific region – the Trans-Pacific Partnership, led by the US (with 10 other countries involved); the RCEP, led by China (consisting of ASEAN members and six other countries); and the ASEAN Economic Community. If all three were much more ambitious than other trade agreements, the potential to facilitate supply chains would be considerable, but the reality is different. RCEP and AEC in particular will likely be quite shallow agreements once implemented.

Shift from energy scarcity to energy abundance

The rapid growth of US shale oil and gas production has prompted a radically new era of energy abundance and will likely impact commodity prices in the short and long term. Over the next 20 years, more than 50% of all energy consumption will be in Asia, fuelling its industrial development and bringing electricity to rural areas. Asia’s reliance on fossil fuel imports will increase, especially from the Middle East.

One consequence of this will be the need to build new infrastructure to match demand. Developing Asia needs USD$20-30 trillion of new energy infrastructure by 2030. By 2020 the US could overtake Saudi Arabia as the biggest producer of crude – it is already surpassing Russia in natural gas production, is close to energy self-sufficiency and could become a major exporter. The US is a key balancing power in Asia, but there are increasing tensions between a rising China and a relatively weaker US. The worst-case scenario is a US disengagement with Asia, leaving the field clear for more geopolitical competition among China, Japan and India. But the US’s prospects as Asia’s vital balancing power would be much better were it to export oil and gas to the region.

Urbanisation – the rise of cities

Urbanisation is one of the world’s key megatrends, and it is happening above all in Asia. The McKinsey list of top 600 cities notes that by 2025, China will have 250 top cities and India 60, with seven megacities (with a population of over 10 million) in China. About one billion new emerging middle class consumers will be added by 2025, concentrated in mid-tier cities (with populations of between 250,000  and 10 million) in emerging markets.

We should look to cities more than countries for policy innovation. The most effective mayors act as CEOs, establishing the best policies for doing business, to attract trade, foreign investment and foreign talent, and to roll out hard and soft infrastructure. Currently, Hong Kong, Singapore, New York and Dubai are the only truly global cities, but other cities can be categorised in terms of what they do best and be plugged into global supply chains in other ways.

For financial services, the implications of urbanisation are the following (these are reflections from Vishrut Jain):

  1. Should banking firms consider the top-tier, obvious cities or invest in the next tier? Urbanisation will mean USD30-50 trillion of infrastructure investment that will lead to massive opportunities.
  2. Will there be an international banking model or will it be restricted to the top few banks by country? An international trade finance model that hooks into trade flows and that leverages connectivity is becoming a reality. This could signal a move away from domestic banking.
  3. What will be the impact of energy flows? The new energy patterns will have a major impact on currencies and the balance of power in Asia (for example, Japan will be able to access gas for USD4), and there will be more money available to buy assets in the region.

The original article was written by Ernst & Young Global Limited, and was subsequently edited by Dr. Razeen Sally.

For more information, or to book Razeen Sally as a keynote speaker for your conference or event, please contact Raleigh Addington at or call +852 5512 9714.

Keyu Jin, the leading London-based economics speaker, outlines China’s “skewed” growth model

Keyu Jin speakerWriting in Project Syndicate, Keyu Jin, a professor of economics at the London School of Economics, makes the case that whilst economists have a reason to be worried about China’s economy, what many fail to recognise is that there is a single underlying problem: China’s “skewed” growth model.

Keyu argues that the “model is, to some extent, a policy-induced construct, the result of a deep-rooted bias toward construction and manufacturing as the leading drivers of economic development.” These large-scale manufacturing and infrastructure projects are encouraged by direct and indirect government subsidies, a model that carries considerable costs and locks “China in a vicious economic circle.”

According to Keyu, restructuring the economy is thus perhaps the most urgent challenge facing China’s leaders today. Given that the current distortions are interlinked, she believes that they may need to be addressed simultaneously.

Click here to read on.


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