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Voices: Experts around the world weigh in

China Daily Europe | Updated: 2017-03-03 07:54

Voices: Experts around the world weigh in

Christopher Bovis, professor of International Business Law, University of Hull

The principle and practice of free trade is paramount to China's political and economic system. China's forthcoming two sessions will probably reaffirm such commitment to free trade and the doctrine of globalization.

Globalization and free trade have enhanced China's global economic performance, but have created a socio-economic vacuum in need of redress. The response of China to the adversities of globalization would not reflect nor lead to protectionism. Instead, China's two sessions will embrace the positive dynamics of modern and fit-for-purpose industrial policies and offer the solutions to the challenges of the new world order.

Voices: Experts around the world weigh in

David Dollar, senior fellow of John L. Thornton China Center of the Brookings Institution, and former World Bank country director in China and former US Treasury emissary in Beijing

I pay a lot of attention to premier's work report, and then the speeches from the head of the central bank, ministry of finance and NDRC (National Development and Reform Commission), because I think there are some question marks about China's macroeconomic policy right now. There has been a lot of debt that is being built up in the Chinese economy. Chinese officials talked about this. The only way to get that under control is to tighten up monetary policy, slow down the growth of credit. And that might bring down the growth rate a little bit. So, what's the target growth rate? And there are measures that can counteract that. I think China needs to stimulate consumption. So, I am going to look for those more-macro speeches - you know, what are the details of monetary and fiscal policies, and also structural reforms?

Voices: Experts around the world weigh in

Danae Kyriakopoulou, head of Research, OMFIF

The biggest, and yet most challenging, opportunity for China's economy is its rebalancing toward a new model of economic growth, away from dependence on exports and manufacturing but rather based on innovation, services and domestic consumption.

The commitment to this process, and the reforms that are required to go along with it, should be a key focus of China's forthcoming two sessions.

A successful rebalancing should allow China's economy to avoid the middle-income trap as it matures and develops. The difficulty, however, will be striking a delicate balance between reducing the economy's reliance on credit and allowing funds to flow from less productive sectors of the economy to more promising ones, while at the same time avoiding sharp corrections that could damage growth.

Voices: Experts around the world weigh in

Luigi Gambardella, president of ChinaEU, a nonprofit organization in Brussels that promotes bilateral digital and internet cooperation

Like every year, observers are looking forward to the sessions to obtain a clear picture of the policies that the second-largest economy of the world will pursue over the coming years.

This year, we will watch in particular the discussion on China's future digital policies and how will the legislature integrate the social dimension in its "Made in China 2025" and "Internet Plus" strategies and how will the legislature further facilitate e-commerce, which is one of the driving industries in China? Maintaining and expanding the Chinese global lead in e-commerce requires strategic decisions and regulatory measures, including facilitating the import of European small company brands in China.

Voices: Experts around the world weigh in

Dennis Pamlin, founder of 21st Century Frontiers in Sweden

This is the first time the NPC will take place in a situation where the rest of the world have shifted focus and now view China, not the US, as the most important country when it comes to addressing global challenges. In this context it is important that China reiterates its commitment to turn global challenges, such as the need for low-carbon solutions, into a development opportunities. But also to explain the global sustainability benefits of major Chinese initiatives such as the "One Belt, One Road".

Voices: Experts around the world weigh in

Charles Foster, US China Partnerships in Houston

As someone who regularly travels to China (4-5 times last year), I personally would hope the two sessions will discuss, given the fact that the world is interconnected and dependent through the global economy, the following:

China's need to continue to address the major air and other pollution and food safety problems that impact the lives of ordinary Chinese people on a daily basis.

Equally important are steps to continue to reform and bring about sustained growth and stability of the Chinese economy. Nothing would help the world global economic situation more than a strong growing Chinese economy. A rising tide lifts all boats. The US as well as the rest of the world would greatly benefit along with China.

Voices: Experts around the world weigh in

Nicholas Hope, former director and China program director of the Center for International Development at Stanford University

I anticipate that the Government Work Reports will chart the course for the 13th (Five-Year) Plan (2016-20).

On the economic side where my interests principally lie, I expect to see an emphasis on the policies needed to ensure an appropriately rapid growth rate along with an increased urgency to advance structural reform, especially reducing excess capacity in key sectors, resolving the debt problems of sub-national governments and their investment vehicles, and encouraging competition and increased efficiency of state-owned enterprises operating in highly concentrated (monopoly) sectors.

In addition to the domestic issues mentioned above, I will follow with great interest the government's proposals for promoting further global economic integration, especially through the Chinese initiatives known as RCEP (the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership ) and OBOR (Belt and Road Initiative).

Voices: Experts around the world weigh in

Robert Obudho, professor at University of Nairobi, department of Urban and Regional Planning Department

The deliberations from the two sessions are very important to Africa because China is now a superpower, politically, socially and culturally. I foresee environmental issues being in top of the agenda, because of the air pollution issues affecting Beijing.

Voices: Experts around the world weigh in

Cheng Li, director of the Brookings Institution's John L. Thornton China Center

This is a very important year to implement economic policies - especially the deepening of economic reforms as laid out in the Third Plenum - before the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.

As we know, the two sessions usually pay attention to people's livelihoods. I think the deepening of economic reforms reflects broad concern about how to improve people's livelihoods, especially expanding China's middle class.

I should say that despite concerns that some of the policies are not fully implemented, we should also look at the fact that domestic consumption is up, and the service-sector environment is very dynamic; and innovative startup companies by college students are becoming widespread, especially in major cities - Shanghai, Shenzhen, Beijing and elsewhere. These represent very important developments.

Hopefully, there will be more positive news about the further implementation, or deepening, of reforms that will pave the way for acceleration of some of the programs.

(China Daily European Weekly 03/03/2017 page8)

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