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Consumption versus investment

China Daily | Updated: 2013-10-04 10:58

Martyn Davies (pictured left), chief executive officer of Frontier Advisory, a leading research and strategy-consulting firm, based in Cape Town

Consumption versus investment: China has missed the opportunity over the last decade to carry out reforms to rebalance its economy.

Main points

Africans are looking at the China development model that is 30 years out of date.

Consumerism and the free market are now dirty words in Africa.

Harry Verhoeven (pictured left), a researcher in the department of politics and international relations at Oxford University and convener of the China-Africa Network

Consumption versus investment: Africa is at a different crossroads in this debate and needs major investment.

Main points

Consumption can be negative in Africa and can be the result of political elites spending the rent income from multinational companies.

The economic model in Africa is still at an early stage and needs China-style agricultural reform to form the basis of wealth which will drive consumption.

Donna H. J. Kwok, Greater China economist for HSBC

Consumption versus investment: Risks to China's long-term economic health greater if it doesn't move to a more consumption-driven model.

Main points

It will take a further 10 years to create a more consumption-led economic model but the process has to unfold gradually.

At current rate of growth China's consumption will only reach Western levels by 2070 and so there has to be greater policy momentum.

Tomas Sedlacek, chief macroeconomic strategistfor CSOB, a commercial bank in the Czech Republic

Consumption versus investment: China should stick to its investment-led model.

Main points

Credit means faith in Latin and if you rely too much on it, it can destabilize the economy.

Lack of consumption now more a problem in the West than in China.

Louis Kuijs, China economist at Royal Bank of Scotland

Consumption versus investment: China needs more balanced growth, including greater consumption.

Main points

Heavy investment-led model has served the country well but it is not possible for it to continue.

Government urbanization policy of migrant workers moving to cities with their families instead of remitting money home should boost consumption.

Hans Hendrischke, professor of Chinese business and management at the University of Sydney Business School

Consumption versus investment: Sustainable consumption can only be achieved through investment in upgrading industry.

Main points

Consumption is not the main problem since it is higher than in many other countries.

Danger of simplifying debate since it is never an either or between consumption and investment.

Michael Spence, professor of economics at the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University

Consumption versus investment: Higher levels of consumption are an important part of restructuring the Chinese economy.

Main points

Achieving supply-side shifts through investment are not sufficient on their own for economic development since demand factors are also important.

Credit expansion and tax cuts are not the right way forward.

Zhu Tian, professor of economics at CEIBS

Consumption versus investment: No such thing as consumption-led growth.

Main points

Investment, and not consumption, is the main driving force of the economy.

Household surveys under-report consumption in China because the rich do not take part.

Consumption versus investment

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