What I Learned About China’s Economy in the Global Context #SilkRoadPH

September 14, 2016

Asian Institute of Management (AIM) hosted a forum that focuses on the role of China in global economic affairs.

According to the World Bank, China recently became the second largest economy and is increasingly playing an important and influential role in the global economy. Dr. Zhang Yuyan from the Institute of World Economics and Politics of the China Academy of Social Sciences was invited to present his research and enlighten us about the subject at hand. It was attended by students, people from the government and private sectors, and the media.


He started by establishing the current economic situation of this export-driven country. He shared while their net exports distribution to global economy growth is declining and money value has depreciated, overall the economy is seen as improving. One indicator is that household disposable income increased by 4.9% from 2011. He also cited a number of supply-side structural reforms.

The focal point of the discussion was the Silk Road Economic Belt and Maritime Silk Road. This was proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013 and began to take shape in 2014, focusing on infrastructure. It has five major goals: policy coordination, facilities connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration and people-to-people bonds. This ‘belt’ aims to bring together China, Central Asia, Russia and Europe with the Persian Gulf and Mediterranean Sea through Central and West Asia (the original Silk Road) as well as connect China with Southeast Asia, South Asia and the Indian Ocean.

Going back in history, the Silk Road was a major trading route that played a significant role in the development of civilizations.

You may watch his presentation here:

AIM Economics Department Head Prof. Federico Macaranas also presented about Trade Connectivity in the 21st Century with the following key messages:

  • China’s grand plan for connecting the historical land trade routes with Europe and the Maritime Silk Road has vast economic and political implications for the relationship among countries in three continents in the 21st century. Thus the focus on building mutual trust and respect is basic to the peaceful foundation of shared prosperity.
  • Global value chains are becoming more complex as technology links local economies with large industry players; this is an opportunity for SMEs to connect to world markets in goods and services, including finance. The trade in value added of China and the other economies will change as a consequence.


The panel discussions by Mr. Vinod Thomas (Director General of Independent Education, Asian Development Bank) and Prof. Emmanuel Leyco (AIM) were insightful. A lot of interesting facts were shared by Prof. Jamil Paolo Francisco (Director, AIM Rizalino S. Navarro Policy Center for Competitiveness) in his presentation on the state of shared prosperity in the Philippines.

I rarely meddle in political affairs and this event was a refreshing break from all the news between the Philippines and China. Thank you AIM for the invite! 🙂

  1. Yes, it really does feel wonderful when you get a break from all the news between the Philippines and any other country at that, China included. Thank you so much for sharing this, and I’m glad you had a good time. See you around! 🙂

  2. This is informative. The power of technology however surprises me. How it could work wonders in connecting small scale entrepreneurs to the larger market. On point is the relationship between mutual respect and peacefulness of China and the Philippines. I hope this will push through.

  3. I agree this is a good break from all the political chaos between CH and PH. If there’s something that China is really good it, it’s their economy. We can all agree that they’re giant when it comes to handling business, it’s amazing!

  4. My goodness, I don’t think I could last 10 minutes attending these kinds of seminars. Haha! But this is actually good so people will know stuff like this and be educated instead of dwelling on petty political issues.

  5. Wow! I find this super interesting. Having International Studies as one of my degrees, we delved in these things when I was in college. I agree that China should cut excess production capacity. Steel prices are really low right now because of China and the truth is the quality they’re offering is low. I’m apprehensive with China connecting the trading routes again and also having their AIIB. It will truly have immense political implications.

    1. Thanks for the insight, Me-An! They mentioned there’s no hidden agenda re: trading routes and they are welcoming any collaborations on that but then, we’ll never know 🙂

  6. This is very informative. I personally still hate the Chinese government and what they’re doing but we can’t deny the fact that they’re a super power ??

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