After crisis, emerging economies set to drive world growth

13:56, September 16, 2010      

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Emerging economies have recovered faster from the crisis than developed countries and are set to become the main engine of growth for the world, leading economists and Chinese officials said today in a panel addressing the outlook for the global economy at the Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2010 in Tianjin, China.

Gerard Lyons, chief economist and group head of global research at Standard Chartered Bank, said that the recovery in global growth has been led by emerging economies.

"It is a tale of two worlds," he said, pointing to stagnation in the West versus strong growth in the East.

This is not necessarily a disaster, noted Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Global Insight.

"Japan has showed us that sluggish growth doesn't have to mean a deteriorating quality of life," he said.

Paul Sheard, global chief economist and global head of economic research, Nomura Securities International, agreed.

"By 2012, the emerging markets will contribute three-quarters of global growth – with China contributing roughly one-third," he said. On the other hand, "the crisis will cast a long shadow over the developed world."

China's government responded rapidly to the crisis of 2008, taking the lead in achieving economic recovery, said Ma Jiantang, commissioner of the National Bureau of Statistics of China. China's GDP growth rate rose far more than expected, from more than 6 percent in early 2009 to nearly 12 percent in 2010. Measures have since been taken to address rapid credit growth and fears of overheating.

"I am not worried about the speed of the economic recovery," he added. "China is looking to achieve 10 percent growth in 2010, with CPI [growth at] less than 3 percent."

Xia Bin, director-general of China's Financial Research Institute and Development Research Center of the State Council (DRC), stressed that growth expectations need to be moderately adjusted downwards to ensure growth is sustainable:

"China cannot enjoy the same double-digit growth rates of 2003 to 2007," Xia said.

In summarizing the session, Martin Wolf, associate editor and chief economics commentator at the Financial Times, outlined a two-speed world where the developed economies recover slowly versus rapid growth in the emerging economies. However, he cautioned, "one thing we can be certain of is that there will be surprises. Expect the unexpected."

The Annual Meeting of the New Champions, the "Summer Davos," is the foremost global business gathering in Asia. Introduced in 2007, the meeting is hosted in partnership with the government of the People's Republic of China, which is represented by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). More than 1,500 participants from 85 countries will participate in the Tianjin conference from Sept. 13 to Sept. 15.

A select group of business leaders from the World Economic Forum's Members who have extensive international experience in building global businesses will act as mentors at the meeting. They are: Hari S. Bhartia, co-chairman and managing director, Jubilant Bhartia Group, India; president, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII); Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, chairman of the board, Nestlé, Switzerland; member of the foundation board of the World Economic Forum; Cynthia Carroll, chief executive, Anglo American, United Kingdom; Eckhard Cordes, chairman of the management board and chief executive officer, METRO GROUP, Germany; Kris Gopalakrishnan, chief executive officer and managing director, Infosys Technologies, India; Jack Ma Yun, chairman and chief executive officer, Alibaba Group, People's Republic of China; James E. Rogers, chairman, president and chief executive officer, Duke Energy Corporation, USA; John S. Watson, chairman of the board and chief executive officer, Chevron Corporation.

By Fon Mathuros, World Economic Forum


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