Post-pandemic world economic recovery to be led by Asia, particularly China, says scholar

SINGAPORE, Dec. 18 (Xinhua) — The global economic recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is going to be led by Asia, and particularly by China, said Professor Bernard Yeung at the National University of Singapore Business School.

While other regions are still dealing with the third or fourth wave of the pandemic, “China is already in its recovery phase because of its superb effort in containing the virus,” he said in a recent interview with Xinhua.

China is and will be a driver for Asian and even global growth, added Yeung, who is also president of the Asian Bureau of Finance and Economic Research.

In his words, Asia will become “an integrated Asia economic system with China carrying much weight and generating a lot of positive spillovers.”

Indeed, in the past decade, the Asian region is transforming into an economic system of its own. The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of virtual technology, which allows the already smart phone-heavy region to conduct leapfrogging strategies, he said.

“I am very optimistic about the recovery of the whole of Asia and its productivity growth,” he said.

He envisions “an integrated Asia growth,” where entrepreneurs can take advantage of the wave of virtualization.

With regard to what China and other Asian countries have to offer in terms of their market opportunities, resources, and production capabilities, Yeung said they will configurate their value chains to be close to major markets, to control costs and mitigate risks.

China has very comprehensive capabilities, a very strong internal system, and an already very large market with the greatest growth potential in the world, he added. “They will meet the demand as efficiently as they can, and they help all economies.”

Touching upon China’s economy, he said he was most interested in the continuous improvement of China’s market and production efficiency.

In his opinion, China has been making a lot of great progress in improving its market regulations and market structure, and in rebalancing its growth to promote an inclusive and comprehensive growth.

Following the principle of comparative advantage, China is catering to both internal growth and external growth opportunities, according to Yeung.

“I appreciate the direction of ‘dual circulation’, which is to leverage internal demand and take advantage of external demand.”

The establishment of a new development pattern — known as “dual circulation” — was accelerated in China this year, in which domestic and foreign markets reinforce each other, with the domestic market as the mainstay.

“I feel very positive about this,” he noted.

The professor in finance and strategic management also believes that China will leverage virtual technology to overcome resource constraints, such as those in dealing with the environment, education gap, and raising people’s finance and economic literacy in the countryside, with improvement in its market structure and regulations.

Singapore will play a very important role in utilizing China’s economic growth to benefit the world, as the Southeastern Asian country can be the bridge and conduit of the positive economic externalities from China into this region, he said.

“In this context, Singapore can serve as the headquarter city for the pan-Asian growing market and the connector between the East and the West in multiple industries, including and beyond finance,” Yeung said.

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