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2020 vision

Updated: 2010-12-31 10:11

By Andrew Moody (China Daily European Weekly)

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How different will the China of 2020 be from today and what are the key challenges it faces over the next 10 years?

As we enter a new decade, the Chinese economy, which recently became the world's second largest by overtaking Japan, is still racing ahead at near double-digit growth rates. But without further reform and upgrading of its industry, there remains a question as to whether it can keep up the pace over the next decade. The next decade is also likely to see urbanization on an unprecedented scale, with an estimated 325 million more people living in cities in less than a generation, according to international management consultants McKinsey & Co.

 2020 vision

By 2025, China will have eight giant cities - Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Tianjin and Wuhan - each with a population of 10 million or more.

Over the next decade, Chinese products and services are also likely to impinge more on the consciousness of European and other Western consumers.

By 2020, some of China's leading companies could also become well-known names as they begin to leverage their success in domestic markets.

The next decade could see the Chinese yuan become a fully convertible international currency, playing a role in international markets similar to that of the US dollar.

China's two major bourses in Shanghai and Shenzhen may also be fully open to investors around the world, with international companies being listed in China as well as in London and New York.

But the country faces a number of serious problems. There will be fewer people of working age to support a growing ageing population because of the family planning policies.

There will be huge pressures on its welfare system and, in particular, the provision of healthcare will provide a major challenge for the government.

Related readings:
2020 vision Convertible currency on the cards by 2020
2020 vision Smaller cities offer bigger scope
2020 vision The shape of cities to come
2020 vision Serving up e-commerce
2020 vision Flourishing future for green tech
2020 vision Innovate or slip down value chain
2020 vision Big bet on battery-powered cars

2020 vision The road ahead for logistics sector
2020 vision Growing appetite for GM foods
2020 vision Connected to the next generation
2020 vision Global games there for the taking

In this issue, we ask a series of observers and key players to give their views on the big issues facing China as we move into the new decade.

Inside, we also ask experts to give their views on developments in 10 major growth areas for the next decade, such as the development of electric cars, new energy, retail, research and development, Internet and e-commerce, mobile communications, home entertainment, logistics, genetically modified food and how urbanization will create new cities of the future.

Martin Jacques, visiting research fellow at the London School of Economics Asia Research Centre and author of When China Rules The World, believes the next decade could prove pivotal for China.

He predicted in his recent best-selling book that China will overtake the United States as the world's biggest economy by 2027, based on figures by Goldman Sachs, but now wants to revise this view.

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