Spending power backs China’s influence in world arena

By Ai Jun Source:Global Times Published: 2017/1/9 0:13:39

Over the past week, stories such as "Chinese appetite for lobster helps prices climb" and "Chinese taste for baby milk nurtures Cumbria town" have been eye-catching among media in both China and abroad. Combined with the prediction that Chinese outbound tourists may hit a record-breaking high during the upcoming Spring Festival, the achievements of China's economic transformation are placed under the spotlight of global public opinion, with more reports recognizing that Chinese people's spending power brings new impetus to the world economy.

The Chinese economy accounts for 17.3 percent of world GDP, according to IMF data. "A 6.7 percent increase in Chinese real GDP thus translates into about 1.2 percentage points of world growth," said Stephen S. Roach, former chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia.

Given severe overcapacity and rising government debts - the drawbacks of China's previous economic development model, which focused on export and investment, structural reform to make consumption the bedrock of economic growth was carried out. In December last year, Forbes revealed that Chinese consumers spent more than $4 trillion in 2016, and according to China's National Bureau of Statistics, China's spending on consumer goods from January to November 2016 grew 10.4 percent year-on-year.

A consumption-driven economy is taking shape in China and the trend is driving the development of many other nations simultaneously.

Statistics show that the number of outbound Chinese tourists reached 59.03 million in the first half of 2016, making China the top tourist source country of many nations.

Under the framework of the One Belt One Road initiative, Beijing has inked agreements with over 20 countries on productivity cooperation, which will help promote other nations' process of industrialization and economic development. The Made in China 2025 strategy is also bringing new economic growth to the globe by providing the world more opportunities to work with innovative and high-value new Chinese customers.

The emergence of China over the past decades has won it more right to speak in the world arena. A series of events in the latter half of 2016, including Beijing improving ties with Manila, normalizing diplomatic relations with Norway and Mongolia's vow over no more Dalai Lama visits, all proved more and more countries' acknowledgment of China's economic influence, and that they are willing to keep doing business with Beijing and in the meantime respect China's interests.

Consumption is power in the current era. Only when China becomes the most vital consumer market in the world, can it have more say in more fields and affairs. This requires persistent economic transformation toward higher-quality growth as well as more efforts to lift the consumption ability of over 1.3 billion people.

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