China in the Asian century

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Country major investor and key enabler of continent’s rise as a networked and connected regional power

China’s economy is maturing, innovating and increasingly playing the role of anchor to Asia, the world’s largest regional economy.
Even as China’s growth rate matures, it is still adding the size of the Australian economy every year, and it is helping to propel the rapid economic development of its neighbors.
By 2040, Asia may account for more than half of global GDP. Most kinds of cross-border flow — be it goods and services, capital or people — are shifting in weight toward the region.
China is a key enabler of Asia’s rise as a networked and connected regional power. It is a regional — and global — trade platform, being the largest trading partner for Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore.
About 60pc of China’s imports come from the rest of the region.
China is a major market for the rest of Asia. Its consumption growth is expected to be nearly double that of all Association of Southeast Asian Nations economies in the period to 2030, and this offers other Asian economies rich opportunities to export to China.
Asia’s economies are diverse — they are at different stages of economic development and are connected to varying degrees — but the strength of the Asian economic mix is that these different economies tend to complement each other. So, as China has shifted toward more knowledge intensive manufacturing, thanks to innovation, and as labor costs have risen, Chinese companies have moved their manufacturing operations to lower cost locations such as Vietnam. The stage is thus set for more growth, more integration and inexorably spreading Asian supply chains and networks.
There are many areas in which China can lead and contribute. China can become an even greater destination for the exports of other Asian economies. It is already the largest source of outbound people flows including students and tourists, but inbound flows are much smaller. China is home to the world’s largest population of internet users, but its cross-border data flows are still only comparable with those of Singapore. Stronger regional cooperation would help cement the stability and dynamism of the new Asia. Nevertheless, these are exciting times for China and its neighbors.
There is much that is impressive about this region’s development: robust growth, complementary capabilities, dynamic new networks and the opportunities that come from collaboration among countries.
—Courtesy: China Daily