In recent decades, China has emerged as one of the world’s largest economies. It is now a crucial part of regional value chains and a leading supplier of goods to the United States. Despite its growth, China has faced challenges to development. These include promoting a lower-carbon energy path, building a cost-effective health system, and ensuring the social legacies of a previous development path are addressed.
The Chinese government has recently launched high-profile initiatives to address these challenges, such as Made in China 2025. This ambitious program aims to modernize manufacturing in 10 key sectors. However, concerns about China’s industrial policies have also arisen.
China’s new growth model relies more on private consumption and services, rather than investment. Moreover, it focuses on addressing the country’s social and institutional weaknesses.
A slowdown in economic growth is expected in the next three years, but this could be tempered by China’s rebalancing of its economy. China’s GDP is estimated to reach nearly $18 trillion in 2021.
The economic rebalancing will result in new opportunities for manufacturing exporters, but it may also reduce demand for commodities over the medium term. Furthermore, delays in shipments of key intermediate goods from China could cause production slowdowns.
In addition, the Chinese government could impose capital controls as it responds to a global financial crisis. Such measures would make it more difficult to repatriate profits, and may hamper Chinese outbound investment and lending.
But while China’s growth is set to stall in the next few years, the country remains a central player in many regional development issues. For example, it is the third-largest market for U.S. products, and a major investor in overseas infrastructure as part of the Belt and Road Initiative.