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News Analysis: China to face up to economic risks for emerging countries

English.news.cn   2014-02-27 17:47:22

BEIJING, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- China will not be impacted by the recent fluctuation in some emerging markets caused by the United States' tapering of its quantitative easing (QE) policy, and will face up to any external and internal risks, economists said.

Recent sell-offs in many emerging markets accelerated following the tapering. Some emerging economies, such as Indonesia, South Africa, Argentina, Turkey and India, suffered sharp capital outflows and fluctuations of exchange rates.

China, one of the emerging countries and the second largest economy, is able to cope with the risks and contribute to the stability of global economy, said Wang Jian, an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

While it is true that the capital is flowing back to developed markets from emerging markets after the tapering, the capital will flow back to the emerging economies with less risks and higher pays, he said.

Instead of capital outflow, China witnessed more capital flow into the country.

Chinese banks' foreign exchange settlement sales surplus, a major contributor to a country's foreign exchange reserve, reached 447.5 billion yuan in January -- the sixth consecutive monthly surplus, as well as the biggest in recent years, according to Chinese authorities.

The State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) forecast that China may continue to receive large net capital inflow in 2014, and also vowed to establish a sustainable scheme to regulate the country's balance of payments.

China's efficient management of capital accounts serves as a preventative wall against any external fluctuation and China is less vulnerable to market volatility driven by capital flows, said Derek Scissors, an expert on Chinese economy at the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington think tank.

A report written by Ma Jun, the chief economist for Greater China of Deutsche Bank, also said China's economic fundamentals are much healthier than other emerging markets like Argentina and Turkey, and China is one of the least vulnerable emerging market economies to U.S. tapering in 2014.

China's political situation is stable, partly due to the success of the anti-corruption campaign, the report said.

In addition, China is implementing the most aggressive structural reforms in decades, including necessary ones to address the country's financial risks. This determination is not seen in most other emerging countries due to political stalemate, according to the report.

China's economic growth used to be driven by its demographic dividend, that is, its massive working-age population. However, with that dividend diminishing since 2012 together with the rising cost of labor force, China's economic growth could be significantly impacted, some economists said.

The impetus for China's economic growth will come from its new demographic dividend based on improved education and uplifting the skills of its labor force, a key factor in keeping future development sustainable, said Nicholas Borst, a scholar with the Washington-based Peterson Institute for International Economics.

China enjoys huge advantages in this new demographic dividend, as well as scientific innovation, which will help deepen its market-oriented reforms and boost economic vitality, Scissors said.

China speeds up innovation in financial systems, which will help boost international income balances, improve the external economic environment and guard against financial risks, he said.

China has to improve government services to meet the challenges of the next twenty years, and reduce administrative intervention in economic activities to establish the decisive role of the market in resource allocation by 2020, according to Ken Lieberthal, a senior fellow with the U.S. Brookings Institution and a leading China expert.

It is down to the changes of government functions to deepen reform and to realize the Chinese Dream, he said.

China is faced with many challenges and should prevent hard landing of its economy, the economists agreed. Wang Jian pointed to the mounting debt incurred by China's local governments over the years and suggested it must be closely followed.

China's property market might have outgrown its boom days, Wang said, but predictions of an imminent property bubble burst and economic crash are premature.

The government should guard against the possible financial risks that market fluctuations may create and take measures to cope with the risks, Borst said.

Editor: Fu Peng
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