China’s future and sustainability

The high economic growth of China has not only brought wealth, but also a negative impact on the environment and natural resources. In this video, WANG Yuan, senior advisor of China Development Bank (CDB), talks about the development that since a few years, Chinese policy makers and government leaders are more concerned with the sustainability of the future economic and social development. She names: “Implementation of climate change policies, income distribution and, more importantly, through a structural adjustment of the economy.”

From 1990 till present, WANG Yuan has been engaged in professional areas of economic policy, financial regulation and operation at the World Bank, at the Central Bank of China and as a China policy advisor in the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission. During the past decade she has worked for the China Development Bank, which supports social and economy sustainable development and was awarded for its work by UN Global Compact. WANG Yuan sees “a bright future for China”, but, “The economic growth of China should be at a reasonable level—not as high as above 10 percent—but around 7.5 to 8 percent will be fine because it will guarantee a reasonable level of employment but also doesn’t give too much pressure on rare resources—natural and human.”

WANG Yuan, who recently spoke at the Global Conference on Sustainability and Reporting in Amsterdam, talks about several structural adjustments of the economy that are needed in China. Over the last thirty years, China has become the largest exporter in the world. “We would like to reduce the dependence on the external economy and improve the internal demand. This would make the economy more predictable and stable… Also, we would like to improve the technology content of our manufactured goods. That requires a lot of R&D work, an upgrade of technology and people’s skills as well.” Furthermore, China being such a big country, WANG Yuan explains that once the decisions are made by the central government, the implementation of the policies in all the different districts is not always easy. “To make all levels of government understand and support each other is also a challenge. China has been working on consensus building between these different levels so I think the objective can be achieved.”

References

This video was taped at the 2013 Global Conference on Sustainability and Reporting hosted by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) in Amsterdam, May 22-24, 2013.

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