Posts tagged ‘Economic growth’

21/01/2015

China’s “new normal” of investment brings new opportunity for win-win – Xinhua | English.news.cn

For the first time in its history, China has become a net capital exporter with outbound direct investment outnumbering foreign direct investment in 2014, presenting new opportunities for win-win cooperation with the rest of the world.

China's "new normal" of investment brings new opportunity for win-win

At the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) scheduled for Jan. 21-24 in Davos, Switzerland, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will expound on the Chinese economy‘s “new normal.”

Chinese investors channeled capital into 6,128 overseas firms in 156 countries and regions in 2014, with outbound investment reaching 102.89 billion U.S. dollars, up 14.1 percent from a year earlier, according to a press conference by the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) on Wednesday.

Growth was much faster than the 1.7 percent gain recorded in foreign direct investment, which was 119.6 billion dollars. This is the first time the two-way nominal capital flows have been near a balance.

“If the Chinese firms’ investment through third parties were included, the total ODI volume would reach about 140 billion dollars, which means China is already a net outbound investor,” said Shen Danyang, spokesman with MOC.

Chinese investors are investing in real estate, businesses and other assets overseas while growth at home is slowing. The country registered the slowest expansion pace in 2014 in 24 years, according to the GDP data released Tuesday.

The slowdown comes at a vulnerable time for the world economy — the eurozone is still at risk of another recession, the Abenomics has failed to drag Japan out of the mire, and investors are pulling out of emerging market funds.

Policymakers and investors were not prepared for a reality that after more than three decades on steroids, the world’s second-largest economy has been transitioned to a “new normal” of slower growth.

The market, crazy about speed and figures, seems to have missed the reality that the Chinese economy is healthier under the “new normal” featuring positive trends of stable growth, an optimized structure, enhanced quality and improved social welfare.

China’s sound economic fundamentals have not changed and the government will maintain macro-policies appropriate, Premier Li said during a meeting with Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the WEF on Tuesday.

The improvement of the quality and efficiency of the Chinese economy and its upgrading will make important contributions to maintaining the stability and healthy development of the world economy and finance, Li said.

The Chinese economy, shifting focus to consumption and investment from polluting heavy industry and manufacturing via complex reforms, will continue to function as a vital ballast for the world economy.

Besides, Beijing aims to create an open capital market by pushing ahead with a broad range of financial reforms to allow more foreign investment and encourage Chinese players to invest abroad. The more transparent and efficient allocation of the Chinese capital will have a positive effect on the global market.

In the process, China has proposed or promoted a host of initiatives and plans, such as the initiatives on the Silk Road Economic Zone, the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, the BRICS Development Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

It is fair to say that China’s capital export is creating life blood for the global economy to avoid the risk of declining.

In light of financial difficulty faced by Asia in realizing inter-connectivity and mutual access, China has pledged to contribute 40 billion U.S. dollars to setting up a Silk Road Fund to provide financial support for infrastructure construction, resources exploration and industrial cooperation for countries along the “One Belt and One Road.”

It is estimated that in the next decade, China’s outbound investment will total 1,250 billion dollars, giving more impetus to the worlds’ economic growth.

via Spotlight: China’s “new normal” of investment brings new opportunity for win-win – Xinhua | English.news.cn.

20/01/2015

5 Takeaways From China’s GDP – WSJ

1 THE SLOWEST PACE IN MORE THAN 20 YEARS

For much of the last two decades, China has been working overtime to drive the growth of the world economy. Now, it’s slowing to suborbital speeds. Last year’s growth of 7.4% was the slowest since 1990, a year when China was reeling from out-of-control inflation and the sanctions that followed the Tiananmen Square massacre.

2 IT’S ONLY GOING TO GET WORSE

The slowdown of 2014 is unlikely to be a blip, and probably presages an extended deceleration of growth. The often bullish International Monetary Fund has penciled in 6.8% growth for 2015, as has investment bank UBS. Others are even more downbeat. Oxford Economics predicts 6.5%–and says this will be the last time China’s growth exceeds 6%.

3 COMMODITY EXPORTERS WILL BE THE BIGGEST LOSERS

China is a huge importer of raw materials, from oil to soybeans. Much of last decade’s commodity boom was premised on the idea of insatiable Chinese demand. As the extent of the slowdown crystallizes, prices for key goods are tumbling, and commodity-dependent economies like Russia, Brazil, Venezuela and Angola are already in trouble. Expect more of the same.

4 HOUSING IS THE WILDCARD

The only thing that could lift the fortunes of commodity producers would be a revival of China’s housing market. House prices were down 4.5% on year as of December, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. Construction has ground to a halt on many sites as developers wait to see if the market will turn around. Prices could stabilize this year, said Haibin Zhu, an economist at J.P. Morgan, but that is far from certain. If moves to introduce a property tax end up killing confidence in the market, prices could keep falling.

5 THESE FIGURES NEED TO BE TAKEN WITH A PINCH OF SALT

Economists say it is daft to get hung up on changes of a few tenths of a percentage point in the official growth rate. The statistics bureau’s methodology is “not so scientific,” as Harry Wu, a skeptic at Hitotsubashi University in Japan, puts it. And even if statisticians at the central government level are immune to political pressure, few doubt that the local bureaus underneath them are capable of fudging the numbers to produce a more flattering picture.

Still, the general trend seems to be clear. If the government says the economy is slowing down, you can bet the slowdown is real.

via 5 Takeaways From China’s GDP – WSJ.

20/01/2015

China’s rising Internet wave: Wired companies | McKinsey & Company

Until recently, China’s Internet economy was consumer driven. The country leads the world in the number of Internet users, and Chinese enterprises deploy sophisticated e-commerce strategies. The same companies, though, have lagged behind the United States and other developed nations in using the Internet to run key aspects of their businesses (Exhibit 1).

That’s changing. China’s companies are quickly climbing the adoption curve. Their increased digital engagement will not only give the economy a new burst of momentum but also change the nature of growth. China sorely needs a new leg of expansion because the industrial growth of recent years—driven by heavy capital expenditures in manufacturing—will be difficult to sustain. The Internet, by contrast, should foster new economic activity rooted in productivity, innovation, and higher consumption.

For global companies counting on China for continued growth, the new Internet wave will change the nature of competition: it will enable the most efficient Chinese companies to grow more quickly, shine more transparency on business and consumer markets, and create conditions for a better allocation of capital.

A new McKinsey Global Institute report looks broadly at the coming transformation.1 Our research shows that Chinese companies are investing heavily in the building blocks of the Internet economy: cloud computing, wireless communications, new digital platforms, big data analytics, and more. Across six sectors (Exhibit 2), which accounted for 25 percent of Chinese economic activity in 2013, we find that increased Internet adoption could add 60 billion to 1.2 trillion renminbi (about $10 billion to $190 billion) in GDP to individual sectors by 2025. About one-third of these gains will come from the creation of entirely new markets, the remainder from productivity gains across the value chain. When we scale up this level of growth across all sectors of the economy, we find that Internet adoption could add 4 trillion to 14 trillion renminbi to GDP by 2025. The Internet is also expected to contribute 7 to 22 percent of total GDP growth from 2013 to 2025.2

via China’s rising Internet wave: Wired companies | McKinsey & Company.

15/01/2015

China to create $6.5 billion venture capital fund to support start-ups | Reuters

(Reuters) – China will set up a government venture capital fund worth 40 billion yuan (4 billion pounds) to support start-ups in emerging industries, in its latest move to support the private sector and foster innovation.

“The establishment of the state venture capital investment guidance fund, with the focus to support fledging start-ups in emerging industries, is a significant step for the combination of technology and the market, innovations and manufacturing,” China’s State Council, the cabinet, said in a statement.

“It will also help breed and foster sunrise industries for the future and promote (China’s) economy to evolve towards the medium and high ends,” it said in the statement published in the government’s website, http://www.gov.cn, referring to sectors which the government is promoting such as technology and green energy.

The government issued the statement after a meeting on Wednesday. It did not give a timetable, but past experience has shown that such a fund could be established within a few weeks after an announcement.

China’s venture capital market remains small, the legacy of the country’s decades of the planned economy in which private sector’s development is largely subject to a great variety of restrictions.

via China to create $6.5 billion venture capital fund to support start-ups | Reuters.

31/12/2014

China Adds the Equivalent of Malaysia’s Economy to its Output – Businessweek

China’s economy officially just got bigger. More important, it also became more balanced, a longtime priority of Chinese leaders and good news for the world.

China's Revised GDP Shows Rebalancing Success With Bigger Service Sector

China’s GDP revision, announced by the national bureau of statistics on its website today, shows the economy in 2013 was 1.92 trillion yuan ($303.8 billion) larger than previously thought. That’s 3.4 percent more and equivalent to adding the Malaysian economy to Chinese output, as Bloomberg News and others have noted. That puts last year’s GDP at about $9.61 trillion.

The 2014 figure will also be revised upward, although by not much, the statistics bureau says, probably early next year. And planned changes to how Beijing counts research and development costs and housing, will likely boost the size of the economy.

The revision follows the release earlier this week of data from China’s last economic census. Almost 3 million census takers polled more than 10 million companies and 60 million individual-owned private enterprises across the country for a three-month period last spring. The two previous censuses saw GDP revised up by 16.8 percent in 2004 and 4.4 percent in 2008.

“The relatively small upwards adjustment [this time], compared with previous [census] revisions, won’t make a huge difference to how the economy is viewed or to key metrics, such as China’s debt to GDP ratio,” writes Julian Evans-Pritchard, China economist at London’s Capital Economics, in a research note today. “Nonetheless, it does provide some positive news on rebalancing.”

The census revealed a bigger service sector, which in 2013 made up 46.9 percent of GDP, up from 46.1 percent before. Meanwhile, China’s often resource-wasting, pollution-generating industrial sector takes up a slightly smaller share of the economy, falling to 43.7 percent from 43.9 percent before the census.

via China Adds the Equivalent of Malaysia’s Economy to its Output – Businessweek.

19/12/2014

What could happen in China in 2015? | McKinsey & Company

It seemed harder to prepare my “look ahead” this year. On reflection, I believe this is because political and economic leaders in China have clear plans and supporting policies that they are sticking to. You can debate the pace at which actions are being taken, but not really the direction in which the country is traveling. This means a number of the themes I highlighted for this year will remain relevant in 2015:

Improving productivity and efficiency will remain the key to maintaining profitability for many companies, given lower economic growth (overall and at a sector level) and the impact of producer price deflation on multiple sectors.

The impact of technology as it eliminates jobs in services and manufacturing will become even greater (but still not in government).

As a result, the government will keep a sharper focus on net job creation and the quality of those new positions. Companies will hire even more information technologists to keep up in the race to exploit technology better than their competitors.

The push to lower pollution, and now carbon emissions, will lead to even greater investment in domestic solar and wind farms, boosting the global position of Chinese producers.

High-speed-rail construction will continue domestically and increasingly abroad, as Chinese companies become the builder of choice for high-speed rail globally.

Beyond these, there are several additional themes that will be important in 2015. I describe them below.

via What could happen in China in 2015? | McKinsey & Company.

14/12/2014

China Has a ‘New Normal’ Too – Businessweek

China’s Communist Party leaders are known for their turgid jargon, much of it dating back decades to when Mao Zedong still dominated dogma. But sometimes, apparently, they feel the need to borrow from less hoary, more capitalistic sources.

A technology and manufacturing facility in Shenzhen, China

That is what Xi Jinping has done with his “new normal” theory of the Chinese economy, now getting lots of play in the state media. The phrase, first popularized by Pacific Investment Management Co., or Pimco, the giant Newport Beach (Calif) bond fund manager, referred of course to the lackluster economic growth following the global financial crisis.

Earlier this year Xi used the then-already tired cliché while on a May inspection trip to Henan, the province southwest of the Chinese capital. Then it got a real airing during a speech he gave at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum last month. “A new normal of China’s economy has emerged with several notable features,” Xi said, speaking before more than 1,500 global business executives in Beijing, reported the Party-owned Global Times on Nov. 10.

“First, the economy has shifted gear from the previous high speed to a medium-to-high-speed growth. Second, the economic structure is constantly improved and upgraded. Third, the economy is increasingly driven by innovation instead of input and investment,” the paper wrote, paraphrasing Xi.

Translation: Yes, the economy will not grow at the hyper rates all of you had gotten used to—still, no need for alarm. We are making the transition to a healthier, more sustainable version, this one driven more by consumption, services, and, oh yes, innovation. “The ‘new normal’ theory elaborated by Chinese President Xi Jinping would be one of the hallmarks to be engraved in history,” the Global Times ambitiously predicted.

“We must understand the new normal, adjust to the new normal, and develop under the new normal—coming to terms with the new normal will be the ‘main logic’ for economic growth for some time,” the official Xinhua News Agency wrote today, in a report on the three-day, high-level Central Economic Work Conference that closed Thursday. “The new normal has not changed the strategic importance of a period that will see great achievements,” it promised.

via China Has a ‘New Normal’ Too – Businessweek.

07/12/2014

India plans 5-fold increase in clean energy – Businessweek

India said Friday it was optimistic the world would reach an agreement to curb climate change, but said its actions would be focused on boosting its renewable power capacity five-fold rather than on cutting carbon emissions.

With hundreds of millions still mired in poverty and without access to electricity, India cannot afford to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the expense of economic growth, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said before leaving this weekend for U.N. climate talks in Lima, Peru.

“Our growth cannot be compromised,” Javadekar said. “Poverty needs to be eradicated immediately. Poor people have aspirations. We must fulfill them. We must give them energy access. We cannot and nobody can question on this.”

He said he was optimistic industrialized nations would agree to shoulder more of the burden to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, given that they had been polluting with fossil fuels for decades before developing nations.

“That is the just regime,” he said.

The recent U.S.-China pact announcing new targets for fossil fuel use marked a positive step toward establishing this sort of equality, he said. In that pact, the U.S. said it would aim to bring down its per-capita emissions from about 20 tons while allowing China to raise its 8-9 tons per capita so that both reach a level of about 12 tons by 2030.

“They have accepted the differentiated responsibility and the need of time for growth,” Javadekar said.

India had already pledged to reduce its emissions intensity — how much carbon dioxide it produces divided by its GDP — rather than promising to cut overall emissions. However, Indian officials and scientists say it could easily go beyond the target set in 2009 of cutting emissions intensity by 20-25 percent below 2005 levels by 2020.

India’s preference for the per-capita emissions calculation also ignores the fact that around 400 million Indians still have no access to electricity at all, while hundreds of millions more are lucky to get a couple of hours a day. Experts worry that as India’s population continues to grow beyond 1.2 billion and more people become wealthy, its share of global emissions will skyrocket.

via India plans 5-fold increase in clean energy – Businessweek.

07/12/2014

Transparency International Socks China for Corruption – Businessweek

Given all the emphasis Chinese President Xi Jinping has put on fighting corruption over the past two years, you might think China was getting a lot cleaner. More than 80,000 officials have already been punished for breaking party rules, the graft-fighting Central Commission for Discipline Inspection announced earlier this week.

China's President Xi Jinping

But in reality, corruption may be getting worse, according to a survey by Transparency International released today. In its annual Corruption Perceptions Index, the Berlin-based watchdog found that China dropped four points, to 36, on a scale from zero, or highly corrupt, to 100, or very clean, over last year.

That put it alongside Turkey, Rwanda, Malawi, and Angola as the countries where conditions deteriorated most. Meanwhile, China fell from 80th least-clean country to the 100th worst place amongst the 175 countries rated, the report shows. Cleanest was Denmark, while North Korea and Somalia were tied for worst.

“We have heard a lot about government efforts to prosecute corruption and corruption scandals in China. Its commitment to catch ‘tigers and flies’—public officials big and small—indicates the government is serious,” wrote Transparency’s Srirak Plipat in a blog post on the organization’s website today.

Still, the worsening situation poses “a hugely challenging question: how effective is a top-down approach when you don’t have transparency, accountable government and free media and civil society?” Plipat wrote.

The larger picture across Asia was hardly more encouraging. All told, 18 of the 28 Asian countries ranked fell below 40 on the index. The “scores of countries from Asia Pacific, the world’s fastest growing region, are a resounding message to leaders that, despite many public declarations and commitments, not enough is being done to fight corruption,” Plipat wrote.

via Transparency International Socks China for Corruption – Businessweek.

04/12/2014

China bolsters support for farm sector with tax breaks | Reuters

China is increasing its support for agriculture by renewing select tax breaks that have expired, the government said on Wednesday, in another move to support the real economy.

A farmer plants paddy on a terrace field in Suichuan county, Jiangxi province May 20, 2014. REUTERS-Stringer

China’s stumbling economy this year has pared banks’ tolerance for risk when they lend, further reducing the supply of loans to small-time borrowers who are usually ignored by banks because they are deemed to be high-risk borrowers.

Financial companies do not have to pay a business tax on the interest earned on agricultural loans worth no more than 100,000 yuan ($16,260), the Chinese cabinet said after a weekly meeting.

Their corporate income tax would also be discounted by 10 percent to “muster the enthusiasm of financial institutions when it comes to lending to farmers”, the cabinet, or State Council, said in an online statement.

The tax breaks, previously in place but had expired, would be reinstated and are effective until the end of 2016.

Insurers that sell insurance to crop and livestock farmers would also get a 10 percent discount on their corporate income tax, the government said.

A tax break that cuts the business tax to three percent for financial firms working within counties would also be extended until the end of 2016, the cabinet said.

Buffeted by a slowing housing market and slowing domestic demand and investment, China’s economy is forecast by some analysts to be sliding towards its worst downturn in nearly a quarter of a century this year.

Annual growth in the world’s second-largest economy could fall to 7.4 percent, a Reuters poll showed in October.

To rejuvenate the real economy, China announced a cut in interest rates of 40 basis points on Nov. 21 in a move that the central bank said was aimed at lowering borrowing cost.

via China bolsters support for farm sector with tax breaks | Reuters.

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