De Chinese economie blijft verbazen

HONG KONG – Ik ben net een week in China geweest, waar ik heb deelgenomen aan het Boao Asia Forum, een conferentie die wel wat wegheeft van de jaarlijkse bijeenkomst van het World Economic Forum in het Zwitserse Davos. Het onderwerp van mijn panel was wat president Xi Jinping “het nieuwe normaal” van de Chinese economie heeft genoemd: een tijdperk van relatief tragere groei, na drie decennia van dubbelcijferige expansie.

Maar wat me het meest opvalt aan de Chinese economie is hoe opmerkelijk die is. De prestaties blijven me verbazen. Hoewel er ongetwijfeld talloze problemen zijn, luidt de sleutelvraag hoe waarschijnlijk het is dat die de economie schade zullen berokkenen.

Van de vier BRIC-landen – Brazilië, Rusland, India en China – is dat van Xi het enige dat mijn groeiverwachtingen voor dit decennium tot nu toe heeft waargemaakt. Tussen 2011 en 2014 is de Chinese economie gemiddeld met 8% per jaar gegroeid. Als zij de rest van dit decennium met zo'n 7% blijft groeien, zoals de autoriteiten en veel waarnemers verwachten, zal zij een gemiddeld expansietempo van 7,5% verwezenlijken, overeenkomstig mijn voorspellingen.

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