China recently unveiled the first part of its socio-economic plans for the next five years (2021-2025), promising to build the nation into a technological powerhouse as it emphasizes quality growth over speed. At the CCP Plenum in late October, the Party leadership laid out a blueprint for China’s five-year plan and key objectives for the next 15 years. They include the goal to double the size of China’s economy and to achieve “socialist modernization” by 2035. The blueprint puts the focus on boosting technological innovation, upgrading industries and supply chains and developing the domestic market to drive growth. At the same time the party intends to embrace international business and trade. In uncertain times, party cadres are also urged to pay more attention to risks and national security.
Which implications do these development targets have for foreign investors? How does the plan impact technology and industrial developments on the ground? Will the plan’s “dual circulation” mean Chinese decoupling, and what are the intended links between Chinese and global economy and trade? What does “socialist modernization” mean for Chinese society, and what can foreign companies expect from an inward-shifting focus on growth? These and other questions were discussed at our web seminar on China's coming 5-year-plan.
Our panelists were:
Dr. Alicia García-Herrero is Hong Kong-based chief economist for Asia-Pacific at NATIXIS, a French bank. She is an adjunct professor at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) and visiting lecturer at China-Europe International Business School (CEIBS) in Shanghai. She is also a Senior Fellow at Bruegel and a member of the Real Instituto El Cano, think tanks respectively in Brussels and Madrid. García-Herero holds a PhD from George Washington University and has published extensively on economic issues.
Bert Hofman is the director of the East Asian Institute and Professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School, both at the National University of Singapore since 2019. Before that he worked at the World Bank for 27 years, including as Country Director for China and Chief Economist for East Asia. He also worked at the Kiel Institute of World Economics, the OECD and ING Bank. He has extensive experience in advising governments on economic development issues and published widely on fiscal policy, decentralization, debt, trade, and Asian economies.
Nis Grünberg, MERICS Senior Analyst, moderated the event. Participants were given the chance to ask questions during a Q&A round.