Study offers new window on China
The International Finance Forum (IFF) launched a new report that contains insights from 20 of China’s top policy-makers on Tuesday in Washington.
The report unveils the mindsets of Chinese leaders as China’s economy faces new challenges.
The IFF China Report 2015, published by IFF in cooperation with London-based Central Banking, was released at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. IFF is a nonprofit independent international think tank based in Beijing.
“This is an extremely useful report, focusing primarily on reform in finance and trade,” said Nicholas Lardy, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute of International Economics.
Though the report has constraints, “it does a good job bringing us up to date on the plans and expectations of the reform architects in China,” Lardy said.
One significant feature of this report is that many top Chinese leaders were quoted. These leaders include Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng, Finance Minister Lou Jiwei, Deputy Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao, People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan, and many more.
“I was really struck as I was reading it how accessible the information is,” said Dan Wright, former executive director for US-China Strategic Economic Dialogue at the US Treasury.
Wright said the report had a sense of directness to it, which is very useful for people outside China in understanding the country’s leaders.
Two of the lead authors of the report, Geng Xiao, director of the IFF Institute and vice-president for China of Fung Global Institute, and Yan Wang, deputy director of the IFF Institute and former senior economist at the World Bank, attended the event to explain its highlights.
Wang said one significant change they found is that compared to 35 years ago, Chinese policy makers now have more concern for “quality of growth”.
“It is now something on every leader’s mind,” she said.
Wang also found through writing the report that China’s proposal for the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) shows its commitment to a “new multilateralism”, and that the international community should welcome this institution.
Another finding of the report is that exports are no longer a driver of GDP growth in China, which Wang believes has profound implications for the structural reform of China’s growth model. Liu Jingyang in Washington contributed to this story.