A booming China is increasingly playing an important and influential role in the global economy, says worldbank.org.
GDP growth in this large but poorly understood economy finished the year at 6.8 per cent year-on-year, down from 7.3 per cent in 2014. While economic growth in China is slowing, it is still growing at many times the rate of other large, more developed economies. US GDP, for example, grew by just 2.4 per cent in 2014.
Export growth has been a major component supporting the county’s rapid economic expansion, with goods and services making up 30 per cent of GDP.
China has also emerged as the world’s largest consumer market for food and beverage, surpassing the US in 2011. Consumers are interested in Australian and New Zealand suppliers of food and beverages such as seafood, fresh fruits, red meat, wine and beer.
Despite its size and continuing growth, China remains a developing country because of “incomplete market reforms”. And, according to Mercer’s Economic and market Outlook 2016, its rapid ascendance has brought many challenges, including high levels of social inequality and swift urbanisation, which makes it a significant source of risk to the global economic outlook.
It’s likely the Chinese economy will continue to gradually slow as it rebalances towards domestic consumption. But the slowdown could heighten risks in other emerging market economies, highly dependent on Chinese demand.
Poverty reduction also “remains a fundamental challenge”, says the World Bank, with China having the second-largest number of poor in the world after India. About 98.99 million people still lived below the national poverty line of 2300 Chinese Renminbi (US $350) per year at the end of 2012.
Snapshot - China
- Economy : Market-based
- Currency: Chinese Yuan /Renminbi
- Population: 1.364 billion
- GDP: $10.35 trillion
- GDP growth: 7.3%
- Inflation: 2%
- Income level: Upper middle income, however disparity across geography
- Life expectancy at birth (2013): 75
- Major exports: electromechanical products, labour-intensive products (clothing, textiles, footwear, furniture, plastic products, bags and toys)
- Imports from ASEAN: food, beverage, biotechnology
- Main export partners: US, EU, ASEAN, Japan