China 2030

By Isaac Cohen*

This is the title of a report released jointly, last March, by the World Bank and the Development Research Center of the State Council, People’s Republic of China. The report attracted attention again, because it contains projections of long term growth, as indicated by its title, until 2030. The central projection is that economic growth will slow over time, amid economic reforms oriented toward positioning China in the ranks of the world’s high-income countries.

This turn toward slower growth in China may have already started. The latest World Economic Outlook, released in Washington DC by the International Monetary Fund, projects a lower growth trajectory in Asia. For China, the projection is that growth will decrease this year to 7.5 percent and to 7.25 percent in 2014, both rates still strong and within government targets.

In the long run, within a scenario of substantial reforms, the projection is that growth in China will gradually slow down, from the present rates of growth of around 7 percent, to 5 percent in 2030. This means a reduction by half of the two digit growth rates of previous decades.

The expectation is that the next November Communist Party conference, known as the Plenum and held every five years, will approve the reform plan, containing new, slower growth targets.

*International analyst and consultant. Commentator on economic and financial issues for CNN en Español TV and radio. Former Director, UNECLAC Washington Office.

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