On the evening of the 24th January, Semerlo went to an FT event titled the, ‘Year of the Rooster’, after being invited by Julia Furlanello at the FT. The event comprised of a panel discussion followed by a Q+A, discussing the current and future problems that the Chinese economy faces. The panel consisted of Martin Wolf (Financial Times Chief Economics Commentator), James Kynge (Emerging Markets Editor at the FT), David Wilder (China Principal of FT Confidential Research) and Stefania Palmer (Asia Editor at the Banker).
After a series of introductions, the panel discussion began in earnest. Of particular interest were the problems associated with Chinese GDP to debt ratio, the possibility of increasingly stagnant growth, as well the failure on the part of the current regime to enforce any meaningful economic reform. Looming over all this was, of course, the spectre of a Donald Trump presidency, and how the new US president’s anti-China rhetoric and commitment to protectionist policies (America First) could impact Sino-American relations.
Overall it was an enjoyable Tuesday evening, and it was fascinating to hear these pre-eminent economists describe the issues that China will likely face in the future, even if 2017 does turn out to be a ‘year of no significance’ (see ‘1587, A Year of No Significance’, by Ray Huang).