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Survey reveals promising outlook for China as global leaders gather for LSE Asia Forum

Nearly 77 per cent of participants in a survey organised by LSE (London School of Economics and Political Science) expect China to be one of the first countries in the world to fully recover from the global financial crisis.  

This optimism was further underpinned by 77 per cent of the respondents predicting a growth in real GDP of between seven and 10 per cent in 2010.     

The survey was commissioned for the LSE Asia Forum which takes place in Beijing on Friday (26 March).  The Duke of York, the UK's Special Representative for Trade and Investment, will be among the speakers at the event. He will join a line-up which includes senior figures from the Chinese government (including Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi), leading academics from LSE and its partner Peking University and other experts on Asia's commerce and politics. 

The forum will discuss challenges and opportunities facing China and the world in four key areas: financial and economic development, climate change, healthcare and China's role as a diplomatic power.

The survey sought the views of faculty, alumni and current students on all four areas. Nearly 1000 people took part. 

LSE Asia Forum 2010Financial and economic development

Respondents believed government policies covering the finance sector would be the best way to avoid further fallout from the economic crisis and 49 per cent agreed that more infrastructure investment will further assist economic recovery in China during 2010.  

In answer to the question 'What changes do you think China will make following the financial crisis?', respondents felt China should restructure from an export to domestic driven economy (43 per cent) and develop a knowledge based economy (35 per cent). 

China's role as a diplomatic power 

55 per cent of participants believed China would surpass the US to become the world's most powerful economy. 26 per cent forecast this will happen sometime after 2030, 25 per cent said China would surpass the US economy between 2020-2025, while 24 per cent believed it could be as early as 2015-2020.  

88 per cent of respondents believed China's involvement in world affairs would become more proactive and prominent as its economy developed and nearly 70 per cent   believed this would have a positive impact on the world. Almost half of the respondents saw China's role as supporting developing countries and forging closer ties among Asian countries. Respondents however cited that domestic reform and China's relationship with the US were two issues, which could have an impact on its development. 

 Climate change 

In terms of climate change, the majority of the respondents (72 per cent) felt adopting clean energy policies would help the country achieve sustainable development, and 86 per cent thought tax incentives were best way to encourage sustainable development in China.  

Talking about the priorities for China in developing a sustainable economy, respondents identify the following three: developing a low carbon economy (30 per cent), developing the service industry (27 per cent) and developing information technology (23 per cent). Furthermore, 67 per cent believe a low carbon initiative is key to the sustainable development of China. Among them, power generation (51 per cent) is identified as the industry that will lead the way in developing a low carbon economic model in China. 

Nearly 55 per cent of respondents felt China and the world should do more together to tackle the global implications of climate change, especially after the failure at Copenhagen. Nearly 91 per cent support the polluter pays principle, and air& water pollutant taxes (31 per cent), fuel duties (23 per cent) and polystyrene foam and plastic bags (23 per cent) are chosen as the preferred 'polluter pays' tax. 

China's healthcare system 

When asked about China's healthcare system, many survey participants thought there was room for improvement, with 68 per cent of respondents saying that they did not think the healthcare system was adequate in China. Respondents identified the size of the population (31 per cent) and the allocation of medical resources (also 31 per cent) as the two most difficult challenges to deal with when trying to reform the Chinese healthcare system.  

Many believed the European model of a state-funded healthcare system was the best one for China, with nearly 61 per cent  of respondents in support. 

Howard Davies, the Director of LSE said: 'The survey shows a very positive outlook for China among LSE alumni, faculty and students, in both economic development and an increasing role and influence for China on the global stage. Of course, there are significant challenges for China and the world on key issues of the economy, the environment and developing effective and equitable systems of healthcare for all our citizens.. We look forward to discussing these issues at the Asia Forum in Beijing with some of China's and the world's leading experts. ' 

The Beijing event is the fifth time LSE has held an Asia Forum, following previous conferences in Singapore, India, Hong Kong and Thailand.

Full details of the forum and the event programme

The survey results in full


For more information contact LSE press office on 020 7955 7060


22 March 2010