EAI Distinguished Public Lecture on Zoom

Topic China’s Domestic and External Economic Challenges
Speaker Dr David Dollar

Senior Fellow, China Center, Brookings Institution, USA

Date Friday, 29 January 2021
Time 10:00 am – 11:30 am (Singapore Time)
Join us on Zoom The EAI Distinguished Public Lecture series will be hosted on Zoom until further notice.

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Abstract In 2021, the Chinese Communist Party celebrates its hundredth anniversary and entering the New Year in enviable shape. China managed to regain control of COVID-19 early on and is poised to bounce back strongly with a projected 8% growth in 2021. Meanwhile, exports are roaring ahead as other countries are still recovering from COVID-19. Despite this short-term success, the country faces daunting domestic and external challenges in the medium term. On the domestic side, demographic shifts will result in a declining labour force and put a premium on geographic mobility. Overreliance on investment as a driver for demand growth has led to inefficiency and waste, and a steep rise in the debt to GDP ratio, which is risking a financial crisis. To maintain growth at reasonably high levels while managing these issues of labour and investment will require innovation to become a major driver of growth. On the external side, even under the new Biden administration, the trade war with the United States is unlikely to be resolved anytime soon, with tariffs and restrictions on technology imports likely to stay. China recent signed the RCEP trade agreement with 14 other Asian countries, and the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) with the European Union offers new opportunities for growth that complements the domestic reform agenda.
About the Speaker David Dollar is a senior fellow in the China Center at the Brookings Institution and host of the Dollar & Sense podcast on international trade. He is a leading expert on Asian economies and US relations with Asia. His most recent book is China 2049, co-authored with economists from Peking University. From 2009 to 2013 he was the US Treasury’s economic and financial emissary to China, based in Beijing. Before his time at Treasury, Dollar worked at the World Bank for 20 years. He was the country economist for Vietnam from 1989 to 1995, a period of intense reform and adjustment. From 1995 to 2004, Dollar worked in the World Bank’s research department and published articles on trade and growth, economic reform in the developing world, and aid effectiveness. From 2004 to 2009 he was country director for China and Mongolia. Prior to his World Bank career, Dollar was an assistant professor of economics at the University of California, Los Angeles and spent a semester in Beijing teaching at the Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. He has a PhD in economics from New York University and a BA in Asian studies from Dartmouth College.

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East Asian Institute, National University of Singapore
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