world growth

world growth

Sunday, November 29, 2009

China 2010 GDP growth could be around 8 percent

Looks like China will be able to maintain a steady growth rate in next few years.

- China's economy could grow at around 8 percent in 2010, after healthy growth this year, Trade Minister Chen Deming said on Friday.

"There is a possibility that it will be maintained at around 8 percent," he said referring to next year's GDP growth.

He said 2009 growth was good and would provide a sound basis for next year as long as there were no upsets in the world economy.

Earlier this month, China's key government think tank, the State Information Centre, estimated the economy's growth next year at 8.5 percent.

Friday, November 20, 2009

India or China: whose household is wealthier?

Plenty of research has been done on the inequality of per capita income between countries and also on income inequality within a country. The Gini coefficient is often used to measure the level of inequality, with a low number indicating low inequality while a high number indicates a high degree of inequality.

The index lies between 0 and 100 with 0 denoting absolute equality and 100 absolute inequality. The United Nation’s latest Human Development Report, for instance, puts the Gini index for India in 2007 at 36.8, better than China’s 41.5. The richest 10% of the Indian population gets 31.1% of the country’s income, while the poorest 10% get 3.6%. But economists such as Pranab Bardhan, professor at the University of California at Berkeley, have for long pointed out that while income inequality may be comparatively low in India, inequalities in wealth are far harsher. But data on wealth are much harder to get.


For China, wealth per adult was estimated at $19,056 in 2000. That makes an average Chinese one a half times as wealthy as an average Indian. But if we take gross domestic product (GDP) per adult instead of per adult wealth, then the income of an average Chinese was only 1.18 times as much as that of an average Indian in 2000. The study says that India’s share of global GDP was 5.9% in 2000, while its share of global wealth was 4.2%.

Even more interesting are the estimates of wealth inequalities within countries. In India, for example, the top 10% of the population had 52.9% of the country’s wealth in 2002-03, while the top 1% had 15.7%. China was more egalitarian, with the top 10% owning 41.4% of the nation’s wealth. The Gini coefficient for wealth in India is 0.669, against 0.550 for China. Wealth is distributed very unevenly in the US, with the top 10% getting 69.8% of the country’s wealth and the top 1% own 32.7%. The Gini index for the US is a very high 0.801.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

China wins a 2.3 billion dollar rail project in Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur - Malaysia announced Wednesday it would award a 2.3-billion-dollar rail project to China, as leaders of both nations pledged to increase bilateral trade.

Government officials earlier this year estimated the tracks, which are to connect the southern city of Johor Baru with Gemas in the neighbouring state of Negeri Sembilan, would cover 250 kilometres and cost more than 8 billion ringgit (2.3 billion dollars).

Apart from the rail project, Malaysia also committed to grant Chinese companies contracts to construct one of the country's biggest dams and an aluminium smelting plant, Prime Minister Najib Razak said after a meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao in the administrative capital of Putrajaya.

'Both nations agree that there is enormous hope for our bilateral relations and we are agreed that we should work together to increase bilateral trade and investment,' Najib said.

China became Malaysia's biggest trading partner this year, surpassing Singapore, the United States and Japan. ' ... We hope that trade and investment will increase with China,' Najib said.

From January to September, bilateral trade reached 89 billion ringgit (25.5 billion dollars), accounting for nearly 13 per cent of Malaysia's total trade during that period.

Hu, who arrived in Kuala Lumpur Tuesday with a 140-member delegation, is the first Chinese leader to visit Malaysia in 15 years.

'China and Malaysia's relationship is embracing a new era of all-around development. We will work with Malaysia to usher in an even brighter future,' Hu said.

Both countries also signed a memorandum of understanding to deepen cooperation between their banking regulatory authorities.

Hu is scheduled to leave for Singapore later Wednesday, where he is due to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

Monday, November 9, 2009

China pledges 10 billion dollars for Africa

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt — China's pledge of 10 billion dollars in concessional loans to African states and enhanced trade was warmly received by African delegates as a two-day summit in Egypt ended on Monday.

Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao's aid promise was welcomed despite some lingering suspicions that Beijing is interested in Africa only for its resources, including oil, to fuel a booming economy.

The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, or FOCAC, began on Sunday with Wen announcing the 10 billion dollars in loans among a series of measures to be implemented before the next forum, due in 2012.

FOCAC meets every three years.

At a news conference at the end of the gathering in Egypt's resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh, China's Commerce Minister Chen Deming also promised to open Chinese markets to African exports and help Africa adapt to climate change.

Chinese companies will be directed to "assume more social responsibility in Africa and create job opportunities in African countries so the people of Africa can get the benefits from Sino-African cooperation," he said.

In an earlier speech, Chen said Beijing was "committed to... going all out to assist African countries in improving their agricultural production and infrastructure."

Wen said on Sunday China's package of assistance and investment in the African continent would focus on reducing poverty and aid for infrastructure and agriculture.

China is also promising to remove tariffs on most goods from the least developed African countries.

On Monday Chen said Beijing's aid was "selfless and unconditional."

The Asian giant's pledges have received an enthusiastic reception from African delegations, despite some accusations that China's interest in Africa focuses on its abundant natural resources, including oil.

Throughout the gathering, Chinese officials repeatedly addressed such accusations, with Wen on Sunday calling them "untenable."

"Our assistance towards Africa is based on improving people's lives and protecting the environment," Chen told Monday's news conference.

China has also been accused of throwing a lifeline to African regimes accused of human rights violations and creating further debt among nations on the continent.

But Chen said that China would exempt heavily indebted countries from paying low interest loans due this year.

African officials have welcomed the pledges, and insisted that they have the independence to choose what aid they receive from Beijing.

"You don't take what the Chinese offer you 100 percent, you take what suits you," Zainab Bangura, Sierra Leone's foreign minister, told AFP.

Bangura said China has built hospitals and roads in the poverty-ridden country.

Kenyan Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula defended the burgeoning relationship between Nairobi and Beijing, saying Africa was a victim of European double standards.

"Africa is hungry for development. Africa has lagged behind for too long (and) has always been treated and judged with very, very lopsided standards," Wetangula told AFP.

"The standards that Europe has been imposing on Africa are not the same standards Europe imposes on Eastern Europe, for example," he said.

"And here the Chinese are coming and saying: 'You want a railway line? We have the money and the technology to build it for you.' Who will not take that?"

Wetangula also said Kenya would not take sides between China and the United States in competing for influence in the continent.

"We are not abandoning our traditional friends for China. We will not engage any contact that discards old friends for new friends."

Both Wetangula and Bangura said they also wanted to see more trade between African countries themselves, which Wetangula said stood only at only 10 percent of the continent's trade.

Monday, November 2, 2009

China second only to US in scientific research

Chinese researchers have more than doubled their output of scientific papers and now are second only to the United States in terms of volume, according to a report from Thomson Reuters released on Monday.

The research is heavily focused on materials and technology and shows China is poised to dominate several areas of industry, the report finds.

"China's comparative growth is striking, far outstripping that of the rest of the world," reads the report, available here

"And the curve seems to be showing only marginal signs of slowing, still heading to overtake the USA itself within the next decade."

Chinese researchers published 20,000 research papers in 1998. This ballooned to nearly 112,000 in 2008, the report found, with China passing Japan, Britain and Germany in terms of annual output.

During the same time U.S. researchers increased output from 265,000 to 340,000 publications a year, a gain of around 30 percent.

Chinese research is concentrated in the physical sciences and technology, especially materials science, chemistry and physics.

"China's grip on innovative materials is likely to have far-reaching effects. It is difficult to see developments in industrial sectors that draw on these technologies that will not directly or indirectly depend on the knowledge coming out of China's research," the report reads.

"If China's research growth remains this rapid and substantial, European and North American institutions will want to be part of it," Jonathan Adams, director of research evaluation at Thomson Reuters, added in a statement.

The report, based on 10,500 journals monitored by Thomson Reuters, parent company of Reuters, notes that China has more than 1,700 standard institutions of higher education.

"Since the Chinese economic reform started in 1978, China has emerged from a poor developing country to become the second-largest economy in the world after the United States of America," the report reads.

"Already, more than half of the nation's technologies, including atomic energy, space science, high-energy physics, biology, computer science, and information technology, have reached or are close to a recognizable international level of achievement."

Other high-growth areas for China, according to the report, include agricultural sciences, immunology, microbiology, and molecular biology and genetics.

The United States is the biggest international collaborator with China, with 39,000 Chinese papers suggesting collaboration with U.S. researchers, or 8.9 percent of China's total. Japanese collaborations came next with 3 percent.