Dr Geoff Raby – China’s gasping leap forward

Dr Geoff Raby, former Australia Ambassador to China, wrote an article in Business Spectator on the sustained economic growth that can be expected from China in the near future. Here are some excerpts from the article:

Geoff Raby_China Speaker

Xi Jinping was confirmed by the National People’s Congress as President and Li Keqiang as Premier.  A new economic team was appointed, except that the rules were bent to keep the People’s Bank Governor on beyond his official mandatory retirement age of 65.  The new team suggests that economic reform will be taken up again and that a major focus of reform policy will be to start to move towards more efficient allocation of capital through reform of the domestic financial system and capital account opening.

The new team takes over as further signs of economic strength emerge.  These will be as welcomed by the new leadership as the first signs of spring are by the people of Beijing.

[…] the OECD has just published a fairly bullish report on the Chinese economy forecasting growth in the order of the mid 8 per cent range for this year which it believes, with the right policy mix, will be sustained for several years.  It has reaffirmed existing forecasts that the Chinese economy will overtake the US in 2016 to become the world’s biggest when measured in Purchasing Power Parity terms (that is, adjusted for price differences).


Sustained growth at the levels the OECD is forecasting will assist the new leadership team to tackle the many problems that continue to beset the Chinese economy, not least an anachronistic financial sector and the informal financial and debt markets that have emerged in response.  Reform is easier with growth.

Growth, however, will not help the government with another major challenge that must be tackled urgently.  It needs to re-build the trust of the educated, urban middle class, that it is capable of honestly and fairly regulating food and environmental standards.  Unexplained pigs in the Huangpu River and dangerous air in Beijing have caught people’s attention during the National Peoples’ Congress, not the staged political theatre of the event itself.

You can read the entire article here

Dr Raby was the Australian Ambassador to China from February 2007 to August 2011 and Deputy Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) from November 2002 to November 2006. He has held a number of senior positions in DFAT, including First Assistant Secretary, International Organisations and Legal Division (2001-2002), Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organisation, Geneva (1998-2001) and First Assistant Secretary, Trade Negotiations Division (1995-1998). He was Australia’s APEC Ambassador from November 2002 to December 2004.

Dr Geoff Raby is Chairman and CEO of Geoff Raby & Associates, a Beijing-based business advisory firm. In addition to his roles at Geoff Raby & Associates, Dr Raby is Executive Director of Riverstone Advisory, as well as an Independent non-Executive Director on the boards of Fortescue Mining Group, OceanaGold, and SmartTrans. He is also Co-Chair of Corrs Chambers Westgarth’s China Business Group, Senior Advisor to Kreab Gavin Anderson and the President of QIC’s China Business.

Topics that Dr Geoff talks about:

  • Doing Business in China
  • Understanding Chinese Business Culture
  • Foreign Company’s China Challenge
  • What does it mean to be China Literate?

Contact us today to engage China expert Dr Geoff Raby for your next event!

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