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Can China Achieve Its Growth Target This Year?

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In this year’s Chinese government work report, the expected economic growth target is set at 5.5%.

The government work report stated that the main consideration for setting this goal is to stabilize employment, protect people’s livelihoods, and prevent risks and that it should be linked to the average economic growth rate in the previous two years and the requirements of the 14th Five-Year Plan. “This is a medium-to-high-speed growth on a high base, which reflects the initiative”. Some foreign media believe that China’s economic growth target of about 5.5% is too high, and its economic prospects are “not optimistic.” Many Chinese researchers agree with that, believing that achieving this year’s economic growth target is challenging. In this regard, the market does not completely acknowledge the concept of generating confidence and enhancing expectations with high goals, but more real policy promotion is required to truly support the development of the economic environment.

Considering the current complex environmental changes both within and outside of China, researchers at ANBOUND believe that achieving this year’s economic growth target should not be overly optimistic and requires a full estimation of the complexity of the current economic operation. ANBOUND has always believed that China’s economy needs to maintain a certain growth rate to solve various deep-rooted problems and achieve stability in overall economic and social development. Therefore, “stable growth” has always been the core requirement of China’s economic policy. Under such circumstances, maintaining a stable economic growth target is also an inevitable need to achieve this “stable growth”, and in such context, setting an economic growth target of 5.5% is “achievable”. The focus of the problem is how to achieve a challenging target. The former official of the China Finance Office also stated that, “this is a goal that requires a lot of effort to achieve”. This implies that to attain the aim of economic growth, China cannot rely just on the endogenous driving power of the economy, but will also require increasing assistance from various policies.

According to the Central Economic Work Conference at the end of last year, China’s economic development would face triple pressure in the near future from demand contraction, supply shocks, and deteriorating expectations.

From the current inflation data and PMI data, there is still no fundamental change in the development of China’s economic situation, and under the pressure, the economic trend of “low in the beginning, high in the end” this year has not changed. The economic operation is still in the process of a soft landing, as expected by ANBOUND.

Recently, The Wall Street Journal published an article analyzing the current difficulties facing China’s economy. There are roughly several factors restricting economic growth: the slowdown in consumption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the impact of the slowdown in the real estate market on investment, and the impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict on energy supply. It was pointed out that in the fourth quarter of 2021, China’s economy grew by only 4% year-on-year, and China is still facing a serious slowdown in the real estate market, as well as the adverse impact of the “dynamic zero clearance” policy on consumption due to the pandemic. The conflict between Russia and Ukraine could lead to a further slowdown in global economic growth and trade, and China’s huge trade surplus, which had been expected to narrow as developed economies reopened and consumption returned to services, is now under more pressure.

Some foreign media also believe that when China set its economic growth target for this year, it underestimated the impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict on its economy. Goldman Sachs Group estimates that a USD 20 per barrel rise in oil prices reduces Chinese growth by 0.3 percentage points. And China’s economic growth will be dragged down by half a percentage point this year. In its report, the IMF now expects China’s gross domestic product to expand 4.8% this year, down from its previous projection of 5.7%. If this year’s economic growth objective is based on last year’s economic developments, then the emergence of geopolitical risks caused by the escalation of the Russia-Ukraine war has actually worsened the challenge of “stabilizing growth” in this year’s economy.

Of course, under varied harsh conditions, if we consider that the long-term impact of the pandemic is fading and the recovery of China’s service industry is likely to be stronger, the resilience demonstrated by China’s economy cannot be overlooked. Some scholars predict that China’s potential economic growth rate is still between 5.5% and 6%. The average economic growth rate in the previous two years did not reach 5.5% mainly due to the pandemic, and this year’s target is set closer to the potential growth level. So, whether the current economic growth target can be achieved, the most important thing is to free up policy space around achieving the potential growth rate.

At present, all parties have high expectations for the implementation of fiscal policy, especially the role of infrastructure investment. However, under the balance of “stable growth” and “risk prevention”, the driving effect of infrastructure investment on economic growth may not be optimistic. Although the official deficit forecast has been adjusted downward slightly and the amount of local government special bonds have remained stable, fiscal spending this year will still see a large increase through cross-cyclical adjustment and other means, which will help boost infrastructure investment. That said, the Wall Street Journal report also mentions that general financial conditions appear to be tightening again following a fresh tightness in the real estate market, implying that greater government expenditure may be countered by lower spending by consumers and companies.

Second, the present real estate downturn puts a lot of pressure on land transfer revenue; local government financing instruments are primarily reliant on the bond market, and rising bond market yields will put a damper on infrastructure spending.

Therefore, one of the policy concerns on how to achieve this year’s economic growth target is still to promote the recovery and improvement of consumer demand. This means that long-term policies that promote economic structural improvement and short-term counter-cyclical aggregate policies need to be combined. This requires not only fiscal policy to improve the economic structure and ensure the support of people’s livelihood, but also needs a loose monetary condition to improve consumer demand and supply. Yang Weimin, former deputy director of the office of Central Leading Group on Financial and Economic Affairs, also pointed out that the contraction in demand is mainly due to weak growth in domestic consumer demand and investment demand. While fiscal policy promotes the expansion of infrastructure investment, monetary policy and more precise COVID-19 prevention and control policies are also needed to achieve an increase in economic activity and population mobility, so as to maintain the recovery of consumption. The Wall Street Journal believes that if China wants to achieve real economic growth of 5.5%, not just growth on paper, it will need more stimulus policies, especially monetary policy stimulus. Therefore, only by “putting stable growth in a more prominent position” can this goal be truly achieved.

A researcher at ANBOUND, graduated from the School of Mathematics at Peking University and has a PhD in economics from the University of Birmingham, UK

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Brick By Brick, BRICS Now a New Bridge for a New World

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Measuring BRICS in single decades, in 2001, BRIC started as an acronym for Brazil, Russia, India, and China; Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neill claimed that by 2050 the four BRIC economies would come to dominate the global economy. So South Africa was added to BRIC in 2010. The following countries are now expressing interest in joining: Afghanistan, Algeria, Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sudan, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe. Is this now the awakening of BRICS+ or BRICS power?

BRICS+ by 2030 will add dozen new members and carve new indices, and by 2040, it will lead to new intellectualism on geopolitics and socio-economies for the super complex 2050 age of smart living.  

Historically, BRICS nations pushed on their people-power agenda over super-power titles. They made extreme value-creation economic models over focusing on powerful military-industrial complexes. They focused on nation-building and avoided special mandates to manage global affairs. They have been on a quest to upgrade them. They were feeding hungry mouths, as they were population rich, constantly up-skilling, and improving value creation as they were SME rich. They kept a steady watch to create multilateralism to uplift humankind.

They, too, made mistakes, as did the rest of the world

In the third decade of the third millennium, come 2020, three transformations erupted. First, futurism changed the rules on the ‘physicality of work’ and created a new imbalance with the ‘mentality of performance’; this has divided the workforce of world; the old system of over a billion commuting daily to the center of a complex maze to arrive daily at the sanctum of the company and create climate change. So now, in response, some 50% of the world’s workforce has chosen to stay away and work remotely in the surroundings of wide-open choices. Furthermore, technology uplifted micro-power-nations and exposed Western economies now stripped naked in bubble baths on slippery floors, they tippy-toe practicing conga-lines

Newly magnified economy: Behold, what microscopes exposed the magnified inner workings of the body. Similarly, the integrated networks have exposed the digital connectivity and working of millions of villages, cities, and nations with additional billions of people to interact, trade, improve grassroots prosperity and create a well-informed and opinionated citizenry. Some 100 years ago, if only 1% of the world’s population knew what was happening, today it is a dozen times more, and by 2030 double again. Why would these numbers change the global economic matrix when translated into micro-trading, micro-manufacturing, and micro-exporting? International opinion today is already strong enough to crush any national opinion of any nation still lingering under the illusion of a self-promoted victory.

When the SME sector already exists within each nation, the global markets are always hungry for good quality goods and services, and the rains of almost free digital technologies make such transformation a quick turnaround. Therefore, mindsets are critically essential; the need to define the difference between the job seeker mindset that builds the organizations and the job creator mindset that originates and creates that organization in the first place.

So what are the lessons, key features, and blueprints in sight?

Mistakes and new lessons: Last many decades, as the new world was rising, Western citizens felt like China experts, and their regular visits to local China towns restaurants in each city misguided them that Laundromat trained Chinese could only produce some chicken fried rice. Ever since the advent of the camera, the East was always projected as poor and dysfunctional; mesmerized by the media coverage during the last many decades, the West was equally convinced that India, a land of only snake charmers and fakirs, finally someday speak better English. The general perceptions about Asia, besides eating rice, if they could ever make cheaper products for the West. The rest is history, mistakes, and lessons.

After the big ding-dong nights of 2000 New Year’s Eve, today’s new story starts from the 20th chapter. Now China and India alone have created some 500 million new entrepreneurs, not by a magic pill or meta-crypto-wand but by National Mobilization of Entrepreneurialism, a slow, painful deployment of SMEs across the nation, and by creating mobilization protocols to identify, classify, and digitizing based on multiple factors from type and size to the evaluation of their “respectable” role in future communities and economic factors. This methodology was far more advanced in strategy and stern management over the globalization frenzy from the West, where sudden exporting of manufacturing of the industrial plants to kill manufacturing and destroying the middle class out of the West already declared globalization a great success.

The other mistake is to assume this is an economic or an academic study, at best, like an Oscar Slap on sleepy rotundas occupied with endless printing of money across the Western economies. Instead, this is an entrepreneurial response for the entrepreneurial nations to awaken hidden entrepreneurial talents in up-skilling SMEs and re-skilling manufacturers at national levels.

Recommendations and warnings: No airline can survive with only Flight Engineers and Frequent Flyers stuffed inside the cockpits; that space is only reserved for highly trained pilots. Henceforth, across the world, any economic development of any size, shape, or authority may find other more suitable alternate paths of occupation if they still cannot demonstrate any levels of understanding, applicable skills, or mobilization mastery on the National Mobilization of Entrepreneurialism to up-skill exporters and re-skill manufactures and uplift national SME sector as the most prominent economic contributor of the nation. Study the biggest error of economic thinking  

Underestimating the hidden powers of early thinking and starting a tiny unknown SME is a mistake of mindsets; here, entrepreneurialism like a saga unfolds, like a voluminous piece of literature but demanding literacy, understanding the job seeker mindsets and the ability to differentiate with entrepreneurial job creator mindset is already winning half the battle. Study the Mindset Hypotheses

Nations failing to realize the power of the billion SME rising in Asia and still unable to declare a national agenda of national mobilization of SMEs now must acquire an understanding of the 4B Factor: a billion displaced due to the pandemic, a billion replaced due to technology, a billion misplaced in wrong jobs now a billion on starvation watch. Furthermore, this 4 billion ever digitally connected mass of people ever in the history of humankind is now the most significant force of global opinion. Notice nations are already intoxicated with joy over the popularity of their national public opinion while having just an opposite international opinion on the world stage.

Recommendation; everyone is born an entrepreneur; our system chips away at this talent. Nevertheless, 10% to 50% high potential SMEs of any nation once are identified, classified, and digitized within 100 days. The uplifting digital platforms of up-skilling exporters and re-skilling manufacturers will result in 10% to 50% quadrupling their performance, productivity, and profitability. Imagine how much-regimented efforts will activate a positive national economic revolution based on real value creation, uplifting grassroots prosperity. How soon is a nation ready for a significant change? The rest is easy.

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Promoting Economic Security: Enhancing Stability and Well-being

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The stability and well-being of people, communities, and countries are critically dependent on economic security. It covers a range of topics, such as access to necessities, work opportunities, stable incomes, and defense against economic shocks. The need of guaranteeing economic security has increased significantly in the modern world, which is characterized by technical developments, geopolitical shifts, and unexpected disasters. The importance of economic security is examined in this article, along with important tactics for promoting adaptability and preserving people’s quality of life.

The value of economic security to individuals, communities, and countries cannot be overstated. By fostering an atmosphere where people and families can achieve their basic needs without suffering undue stress, it promotes stability. Because of this stability, people can recuperate and start over after severe shocks like economic downturns, natural disasters, or health crises.

Furthermore, economic security contributes to social cohesion by reducing inequality and fostering inclusivity. When individuals feel economically secure, they are more likely to actively participate in society, contribute to their communities, and engage in productive endeavors. This sense of security leads to greater social harmony and a collective feeling of prosperity.

Moreover, economic security is vital for long-term sustainable development. It enables individuals and societies to invest in education, healthcare, infrastructure, and innovation. These investments drive economic growth, improve overall well-being, and create the foundation for a prosperous future. By ensuring economic security, countries can build resilient and sustainable economies that benefit their citizens and contribute to global progress.

To enhance economic security, several key strategies can be implemented. Firstly, governments and businesses should prioritize diversifying their economies by promoting sectors with growth potential and resilience. By reducing reliance on a single industry or market, countries can mitigate the impact of economic downturns and build a more robust and diversified economy.

Investing in education and skills development is another crucial strategy. Governments and organizations must focus on providing quality education, vocational training, and lifelong learning opportunities. Equipping individuals with the necessary tools and knowledge enables them to adapt to changing economic landscapes and remain competitive in the job market.

Strong social safety nets are necessary to protect people during times of economic upheaval. The most disadvantaged populations should be given priority in the design and implementation of comprehensive social welfare systems by the government. Creating a safety net for all citizens entails implementing programs for income support, healthcare coverage, and unemployment benefits.

Promoting entrepreneurship and innovation can create new opportunities for economic growth and job creation. Governments can support aspiring entrepreneurs by providing access to capital, mentorship programs, and favorable regulatory environments. Embracing technological advancements and fostering a culture of innovation further enhances economic security, particularly in an increasingly digital world.

International cooperation is essential since economic security is a global issue. Cooperation between nations is necessary to advance ethical business practices, lessen economic inequality, and improve financial stability. Initiating discourse, coordinating policy, and assisting nations in economic crises are all important functions of multilateral organizations.

Societies can improve their economic security and create a more secure and prosperous future by putting these strategies into practice: diversifying the economy, investing in education and skills, creating social safety nets, encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation, and fostering international cooperation.

Having economic security is crucial in a world that is uncertain and changing quickly. Governments, corporations, and individuals may all work together to create an environment that promotes economic security by putting a priority on stability, resilience, and inclusivity. We can create a more resilient and prosperous future for everybody through diversity, education, social safety nets, entrepreneurship, and international cooperation. By making investments in financial stability, we build a more just and sustainable world.

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The Impact of Globalization on the South Asian Economy

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Globalization refers to the process by which economies, societies, and cultures from different countries become integrated with one another. The economies of the countries that make up South-East Asia, which include India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, have been significantly impacted by the spread of globalization in recent decades. The effects of globalization on the economies of South Asian countries have been mixed, with some positive and some negative results.

Positive Impacts of Globalization on the South Asian Economy

The expansion of South-East Asia’s trade and investment opportunities is one of the aspects of globalization that has had the most positive impact on the region’s economy. Because of its large consumer base, low labor costs, and strategic location, the region has become an attractive destination for foreign investors. As a consequence of this, the level of foreign direct investment (FDI) in South Asia has significantly increased, which has led to the development of new industries and the production of new jobs.

The expansion of the service industry in Sout-East Asia can also be attributed to the effects of globalization. South Asian countries have emerged as a hub for the outsourcing of services such as information technology (IT) and business process outsourcing as a result of the emergence of new technologies and the increased availability of skilled labor (BPO). As a direct consequence of this, the area has benefited from an increase in both the number of available jobs and the amount of money it brings.

Last but not least, globalization has facilitated greater cultural interaction and integration throughout South-East Asia. The region possesses a significant cultural legacy, and the advent of globalization has made it possible for South Asian music, films, and cuisine to become popular all over the world. This has not only contributed to a greater awareness of the region’s cultural heritage, but it has also opened up new doors for the travel and hospitality industry.

Negative Impacts of Globalization on the South-East Asian Economy

Even though there have been some positive effects, there have also been some negative effects that globalization has had on the South Asian economy. The widening gap between rich and poor is one of the most pressing problems that we face today. The advantages brought about by globalization have accrued almost entirely to a relatively small number of people, which has contributed to a widening income gap. As a consequence of this, social unrest and a wider gap in incomes have emerged.

Another significant obstacle that has been presented is the displacement of workers and traditional industries. Due to the effects of globalization, many smaller businesses have been forced to shut down, and their employees have been relocated to larger companies that are more productive. As a consequence of this, there has been an increase in unemployment as well as social unrest, particularly in rural areas.

Globalization has contributed to the deterioration of the environment in South Asia. The region has seen a growth in industries such as the textile industry, both of which have had a significant impact on the environment as a result of their expansion. The population’s health and well-being have suffered as a direct result of environmental degradation, which can be traced back to the increased consumption of natural resources and the improper disposal of waste produced by industrial processes.

Conclusion

The economy of the South-East Asian region has been affected in both positive and negative ways by the phenomenon of globalization. While it has resulted in the growth of industries and increased cultural exchange, it has also resulted in the displacement of workers and the widening of income inequality. While it has contributed to the growth of industries and increased cultural exchange, it has also resulted in the displacement of workers. In order to address these challenges, policy interventions that foster inclusive growth, protect the environment, and create new opportunities for the population will be required. By acting in this manner, countries in South Asia will be able to take advantage of globalization’s positive aspects while mitigating some of its more damaging effects.

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