Business / Economy

Experts: Bright times ahead for Sino-US trade and investment

By Jack Freifelder in New York (China Daily) Updated: 2014-10-09 07:55

Though the International Monetary Fund has lowered its growth forecast for China, economic experts believe that the country still has enough opportunities to boost bilateral trade with the United States.

On Tuesday, the IMF released its October 2014 World Economic Outlook report, which estimates that the economic growth in China during the fourth quarter of 2014 will slow to 7.4 percent and hover around 7.1 percent in 2015 as the country "makes the transition to a more sustainable growth".

China's economy has worked to recover from a poor start in 2014 and the government has indicated it is prepared to accept slower growth as it tries to wean the economy away from a dependence on investment and exports.

"It can seem like this is not the time to get involved in China, but lower growth does not mean we're talking about a bad outlook," Dan Rosen, founding partner at the Rhodium Group, a global research firm, said during a panel discussion on Tuesday.

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"China for 35 years now has had a very consistent powerful trend in its economic growth, and we have never seen such a big economy develop so quickly for so long," Rosen said.

"But we are now entering the long talk about transition from past growth to a new era," he said. "What China is doing today is actually laying the groundwork for what will be the best possible outlook for China over the next seven years or so. Come 2020, I foresee a China that's still growing about 6 percent a year in GDP terms."

Craig Allen, deputy assistant secretary of Asia at the US Department of Commerce, said: "There's a great deal of growth between (the US and China) pretty much across the board - automotive, aviation, etc. While the US exports more to Canada and Mexico, China is by far its largest overseas trade market."

In 2013, the value of US goods exported to China was about $122 billion, according to data from the US government. And on top of that, Allen said the US had $46 billion worth of service industry exports.

"With growth, trade with China should surpass US exports to Europe within two or three years, which is quite a remarkable tectonic shift," he said.

On Tuesday, Allen and Rosen joined Jeremie Waterman, executive director for greater China at the US Chamber of Commerce, and Alfred Nader, vice-president of corporate strategy and development for Western Union's business solutions division, for a dialogue on the trends facing the Chinese economy, including growth prospects in the greater China region, the benefits of carrying trade in the yuan, China's import and export markets and investment opportunities in China.

More than 100 people attended the discussion on Tuesday in New York, which kicked off the 2014 Discover Global Markets Greater China Business Forum.

During the panel discussion, Waterman, of the US Chamber of Commerce, said: "The Chinese economy has slowed and some of the regulatory operating concerns that were overlooked in past years have now become more important considerations. As companies look to make future investments in China against other opportunities globally, due diligence is key. If you're going to go to the China market, it is not for the risk averse."

Nader, vice-president of Western Union, said: "Up until a few years ago, 99 percent of all payments coming to and from China were done in the US dollar. But starting in 2009, China started to liberalize the currency, and American businesses are now at a very special moment in time where they can use regulations to their benefit."

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