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Challenges Discussed At The China Business Conference In London
The event is one of the premier platforms for the Chinese government to interact with domestic and international businesses. The China business conference in London brings together a remarkable array of well-known western business leaders, heads of Chinese state-owned enterprises and Beijing-based Chinese government ministers and senior officials.
The main opening session set the tone for the three days of large plenary and smaller parallel sessions offering insights on China's economy from the Western World. The speakers generally took a long view, using different economic forecasting methods to account for any immediate and short-term reduction in China's growth, but pointing to longer-term stability and enhancements in the Chinese economy's productivity levels.
Trade balance not a valuable measure of success
The topics of the various sessions moved from domestic concerns such as the quality of Chinese growth and increasing social inequality on international matters such as the global trade regime and the digitization of trade. There was clear recognition from several participants that the trade tensions ...
... from the US had made a quantifiable impact on the Chinese economy and made decisions to accelerate reforms around investment. China's new investment laws were regularly cited during the discussions and an example of how China aimed to respond to criticism from the US.
Optimism on easing US-China tension and China growth in the long-term
The potential US-China deal to ease trade tensions was discussed at the China business conference in London, with a generally optimistic tone from both Chinese and international speakers that an agreement could be formed. The economy's opening up was mentioned daily throughout the discussions, including further reforms to introduce market-based economic exchange while maintaining state management of the economy.
There was a regular acknowledgement that the trade tensions had already negatively impacted the Chinese economy. A few speakers voiced concern over China's debt levels, especially if there was any danger of a significant economic slowdown. There was a clearly stated desire on behalf of the State Council to improve China's productivity through more high-tech manufacturing and continue to move China up the value chain, thus bolstering the Chinese economy against the potential increase in trade tensions with the US.
The future of the global trade architecture
The discussion focused heavily on the US attempts to undermine the WTO to force China to negotiate with the US on a bilateral basis. The speakers generally thought that the US and China would deal with trade but felt that this would not solve many broader tensions between the two giants. It was also noted that China had an opportunity to play a more significant role in reshaping the multilateral order, not only in the area of trade, and there were repeated suggestions that China would rise to the challenge. One notable speaker stated that globalization and membership of the WTO, in particular, had been extremely good for China and several other developing countries. He expressed significant concerns about US behavior to undermine the WTO by refusing to appoint appellate judges and suggested that the US eventually destroy the WTO, which would be highly damaging both for China and international businesses.
Plan China is Westwin's insights sharing event which gives business owners in London the insights on China SEM, WeChat, Weibo, e-commerce, programmatic advertising, and more. To know more, visit https://planchina.co.uk/news/.
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