“I usually describe myself as a skeptical optimist,” says Arthur Kroeber, managing director of the Beijing economics research firm GK Dragonomics. “There’s always been people predicting collapse or doom or slowdown or some huge problem for the Chinese economy, and they’ve always been wrong,” he says.
That’s Kroeber’s skeptical side. Here’s his optimist side: “The track record of this society responding to challenges and overcoming them is very, very powerful.”
The one thing China bears and bulls usually agree on is that China’s economy is relying too much on infrastructure investment for growth and not enough on consumer-led growth.
China bears say the country has gone past the point of no return, the economy is dangerously unbalanced, and that China has never faced anything like this. Kroeber rolls his eyes at this notion.
“Thirty years ago, this was a communist totalitarian country with a planned economy run from Beijing and there was no private sector and all the prices were set by the government. And China orchestrated a transition out of that much more successfully than any other post-communist economy,” he says.
Kroeber thinks China will continue to defy expectations.
On November 1 the China Weekly Hangout discussed China’s future, with Greg Anderson, Janet Carmosky and Fons Tuinstra.
- China’s economy needs a diet – Arthur Kroeber (chinaspeakersbureau.info)
- China in numbers: a tough call – Arthur Kroeber (chinaherald.net)
- Withdrawing from investment policies – Arthur Kroeber (chinaherald.net)
- No One Trusts China’s Unemployment Rate (npr.org)