Spotlight: Confidence in Chinese economy remains strong despite slower growth

Source: Xinhua| 2019-03-01 16:55:45|Editor: Li Xia
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LONDON, March 1 (Xinhua) -- Confidence in the Chinese economy remains strong although its slowdown has given rise to some worries, businessmen who have kept observing China's economic development for long have said.

"Sometimes a growth slowdown is healthy. Look at the history of the U.S., especially before 2009, we grew quickly until the point we have a consumer deposit crisis," said Chris Riebold, president of ParianBlack and former Chief Credit & Risk officer of Cisco Systems Capital from America.

Last year, China's economy grew 6.6 percent year-on-year despite global challenges. It was lower than the 6.8-percent growth registered in 2017, but was still above the official target of around 6.5 percent.

Riebold has more than 20 years of executive leadership experience in over 100 countries including China. He urged rationality in understanding China's economic growth, saying that China's economy develops with a higher level of consumption.

"A lot of people are looking at China's growth rate. It may have caused some anxiety to them," Farid Haque, co-founder and chief operating officer of AssetVault, a start-up company in London.

"But look at that number, it's still huge compared to that of other countries," he said.

According to Riebold, the slowdown in China's economic growth was mainly due to the fact that it is in a period of transition.

"China moved from supplying the world with low-value goods 20 years ago to providing high-value goods, service and technology both in China and to other parts of the world," he said.

"China is doing the right thing" in transforming its economy into a greener, innovative and sustainable one, he said.

"China has a comparative advantage in AI (artificial intelligence), deep learning and big data to boost its economy in the future," Riebold said, adding that five yeas from now, there is a good chance for China to lead in these fields since it has more resources to leverage these technologies.

Riebold recalled the time when he visited China, he saw wind farms and a lot of green energy the government is putting in place. "Things are happening" in China, he said.

"I can see people have incentive to do things that are better for the environment in China," Haque echoed, stressing that he was impressed by "China's leadership and ambition to grow sustainably" and it's exciting to see "there is opportunity to change things more sustainably."

Both Haque and Riebold voiced confidence in the future development of China's economy, believing that there will be a fair trade agreement between China and the United States.

"There is no question that China is dependent on U.S. and U.S. is dependent on China ... so if the trade discussions go well, both countries will benefit. The two countries have to come to a good fair deal for going forward. We have to work together," Riebold said.

He added that the Chinese government is capable of making decisions very quickly and can plan in advance than many other governments in the world.

"The Chinese government reacts more quickly to catch up with the fast change of the market than any other governments do," he said.

Haque added that the strength of the Chinese economy also lies in a vast group of Chinese enterprises striving for innovation and an enormous domestic market.

"The government has an important role to play, but people and enterprises have an important role to play in job creation and in stimulating innovation too."

"There are so many opportunities to explore," Haque added.