Biz Sch News 28 November 2013

“China’s economic transformation is the greatest event in history”: Wu Xiaobo

Well-known Chinese financial author, Wu Xiaobo, believes that China’s economic transformation is the greatest event in history. In a talk at  NUS Business School titled, “Chinese Enterprises: The past 30 years and 30 years in the future” on November 27, Wu gave a historical perspective of the evolution of private enterprises in China since the 1980s. He took the audience through the key milestones that have shaped growth of private enterprises in China, beginning with the first tentative steps at reform in the late 1970s, the growth of coastal Special Economic Zones, the Asian financial crisis in 1997 and more recently China’s reaction to the global financial crisis.

wu1

The talk was the latest in NUS Business School’s Asian Business Series, an initiative to invite Asian thought leaders to discuss business trends and economic issues in Asia. The event was attended by about 250 attendees, Associate Professor Song Zhaoli, Academic Director of Asia-Pacific Chinese EMBA moderated the Q&A and Professor Bernard Yeung, the Dean of NUS Business School, gave closing remarks.

wu3

In his talk Wu took the audience through some of the policies and turning points that have helped China maintain unparalleled growth rates, averaging upwards of 9 per cent annually over the past three decades. He warned, however, that challenges lie ahead. Many Chinese are leaving or seeking to leave China due to legal issues and religious conflicts. State owned enterprises are in urgent need of reform, he said, and it is also important ensure equitable distribution of profits generated by private enterprises.

Looking to the future, Wu said he believed that information technology and the internet revolution will be the dominant force of change in China’s economic landscape.