Part 1: China's Economic Prospects

and Global Impact

As the world’s second largest economy in real GDP terms and with an average growth rate of 9.5% between 1978 and 2018, China has been a critical driver of global growth. However, economic challenges in the wake of the recent pandemic and rising geopolitical tensions have become concerns not just for the country, but for the world too. In 2023, the Chinese industrial sector was confronted with lower revenue growth rates and shrinking total profits. At the same time, China’s debt-to-GDP ratio reached an all-time high of 77% in 2022. The global conversation has thus focused a great deal on how China will respond and what measures it will put in place.

It is worth bearing in mind that beyond the global headlines, China remains a complex, resilient economy that is seeking to establish its next phase of development, cognisant of major global shifts and a new focus on quality rather than quantity. The country is undergoing major structural changes, leveraging technological innovation to address contemporary challenges, and transitioning away from a predominantly export-led model into a dual-circulation and sustainable development oriented one. Notably, China is making massive investments into new and thriving industries such as electric vehicles and solar energy, combined with broader efforts to boost its eco-civilisation ambitions and circular economy goals. In addition, China is also increasingly emphasising the integration of urban and rural development through its rural revitalisation policies, which seek to address key issues such as poverty alleviation, agricultural modernisation, resource conservation and improvements in rural governance.

In terms of external trade and foreign relations, China remains the largest trading partner for many countries across the world. There is growing interdependence with many developing countries, with China also pledging sizable financial support for these economies. Since its inception in 2013, China’s Belt and Road Initiative has also triggered more than USD400 billion of investment and USD2 trillion of trade between 131 members of the initiative, resulting in the building of critical infrastructure in transportation, energy, production and communications in developing countries.

The Global Institute for Tomorrow (GIFT) invites you to join a distinguished panel of experts for a discussion on China’s economic prospects and its global impact, going beyond ideological narratives and commonly cited statistics with a narrow focus on metrics such as consumption and investment performance. This event offers an opportunity for policymakers, academics, businesspeople, and the public, to gain a comprehensive understanding of China’s economic landscape, its planned reforms, and the outlook for the future.

THURSDAY, 11 JuLY 2024

14:00 - 18:00, Hong Kong Time

Conference Programme



14:00 - 14:15

14:15 - 14:45

14:45 - 16:00

Panel 1: Understanding China’s Economic Transformation – Why, ​What, and How

Despite achieving enviable growth rates that exceed most major economies such as the U.S., China’s recent economic woes have become the subject of global headlines. There is much speculation on the nature of the transformations taking place in China and on the policy drivers for the structural reforms that it is undertaking. Much of this is driven by geo-politics, but also by domestic concerns on the sustainability of the established approaches to development and growth. As China embraces a philosophy of development that emphasises quality improvement, there is a need to transcend traditional metrics, and engage in deeper discussions about the country’s ongoing economic transformation that harbours both opportunities and challenges.

The panel of experts will provide insights into the internal and external driving factors behind China’s reforms and the direction it is taking, the challenges to be addressed, and the strategies it is employing to achieve its objectives.

Areas of discussion will include:

  • The rationale for China’s structural changes.
  • Key areas of China’s economic transformation.
  • How are growth and high-quality development being redefined.


Professor Shenglin Ben

Professor & Dean of ZIBS (International Business School) and Dean of ​AIF (Academy of Internet Finance), Zhejiang University

16:00 - 16:10

Intermission & Conference Setup

16:10 - 17:30

Panel 2: Global Impact of China’s Economic Transformation

Having achieved double-digit GDP growth rates averaging 9.5% from 1978 to 2018, China became the factory of the world. Its export of goods alone is in the magnitude of trillions of dollars. Thus, along with its complex interdependencies that span the globe, China had also cemented a central role in the globalised economy. Today, as a more mature economy, the country faces challenges such as rising labour and production costs, threats of protectionism by major economies like the U.S. and Europe, and increased competition from other developing countries.

In light of China’s ongoing economic transition, the panel will provide insights into global implications of this shift. The discussion will primarily focus on how China’s structural change will affect the Asian region and the wider world in both the short and long term. Additionally, this panel will explore how these changes will influence China’s relations with rising ASEAN and African countries, as well as Western nations.

Areas of discussion will include:

  • How Western governments will respond to the economic transformation in China and especially in relation to how it impacts them.
  • How is this transformation viewed from the perspectives of other nations, particularly in Asia and Africa.
  • How China’s economic transformation will shift the balance of power globally.



17:30 - 18:00

Meet the Speakers

World Wide Web Icon in Circle Shape

Dr. Keyu Jin

Tenured Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics

and Political Science (LSE)

Keyu is a tenured Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She is an academic member of the China Finance 40 Group and has worked with prestigious organisations, such as the World Bank, the IMF, and the China Banking Regulatory Commission. Keyu also serves as a non-executive board member of the luxury conglomerate Richemont and the global bank Credit Suisse Group AG.

Her fields of expertise include macroeconomics, international finance, international trade, and the Chinese economy. She has contributed pieces to the Financial Times and the New York Times and previously served on the editorial board of the Review of Economic Studies, one of the world's leading economic journals.

She is the author of The New China Playbook (2023). Her recent academic publications include Misallocation Under Trade Liberation (with Yan Bai and Dan Lu, American Economic Review, September 2023), The One Child Policy and Household Saving (with Taha Choukhmane and Nicolas Coeurdacier, Journal of European Economics Association, June 2023), Digital Economy and Financial Innovation (China Financial Publishing House, June 2022), et cetera. She holds a B.A., an M.A., and a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University, and was born and raised in Beijing.

Dr. Erik Berglöf

Chief Economist of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)

Dr. Berglöf sets the vision and strategy for the Economics Department and leads the planning, implementation ​and supervision of its work plan in support of the Bank’s mandate. He is the Bank’s inaugural Chief Economist. ​Prior to joining AIIB in September 2020, he was Director of the Institute of Global Affairs, London School of ​Economics, and Chief Economist of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development from 2006 to ​2015, where he was part of creating and co-led the Vienna Initiative, a European crisis response team credited ​with mitigating the impact of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis.

He is an expert in transition economics and institutional transformation through private sector development. He ​holds a PhD in Financial Economics and an MA in Business and Economics, both from the Stockholm School of ​Economics. Dr. Berglöf is a national of Sweden.

World Wide Web Icon in Circle Shape

Professor Shenglin Ben

Professor & Dean of ZIBS (International Business School) and Dean of AIF ​(Academy of Internet Finance), Zhejiang University

Dr. Ben is the Professor and Dean of ZIBS (International Business School) and Dean of AIF (Academy of Internet Finance), Zhejiang University. Prior to joining Zhejiang University in May 2014 as a Professor, Dr. Ben spent around 20 years (09/1994-04/2014) in China and abroad with ABN AMRO, HSBC, and lastly JP Morgan Chase, where he served as China CEO, JP Morgan Chase Bank.

Dr. Ben is founder and Director of International Monetary Institute, Renmin University of China. He is also founder and chairman of Zhejiang Association of Internet Finance, the industry association of global fintech hub - Zhejiang Province. He serves as a Counselor to Zhejiang Provincial Government, a Standing Committee member of CPPCC Zhejiang and Vice Chairman of its Economic Commission. He also serves as a board director of leading companies such as CICC, Tsingtao Brewery and Bank of Ningbo.

Dr. Ben has a Bachelor’s degree in engineering from Tsinghua University, a Master’s degree in management from Renmin University of China, and Ph.D. in Economics from Purdue University, USA.

His research interests include Global Financial System, Global Banking, Management of Financial Institutions, Internet Finance (FinTech), Entrepreneurial Finance, and International Business.

World Wide Web Icon in Circle Shape

Dr. Horst Löchel

Professor of Economics and Co-Chairman of the Sino-German Centre e. V.

at Frankfurt School of Finance & Management

Dr. Horst Löchel is Professor of Economics and Co-Chairman of the Sino-German Centre e. V. at Frankfurt ​School of Finance & Management. He is also a member of the Board of Directors at the Shanghai International ​Banking and Finance Institute (SIBFI). He joined Frankfurt School in 1997 and has held positions of Acting and ​Deputy Dean, as well as Programme and Academic Director of the MBA and the Executive MBA.

He lived in China from 2003 to 2011 and was the foundation manager of SIBFI in 2003, where he also held the ​positions of the Chairman and the Vice President of the Managing Directors. From 2009 to 2011, he was ​appointed as the Director of the German Centre of Banking and Finance at China Europe International Business ​School (CEIBS) in Shanghai, China, where he was also a visiting professor of economics until 2020. Today, he is ​still an Independent Director of the Board of the Sino-German Bausparkasse, a joint venture of China ​Construction Bank and Schwäbisch Hall, part of the German DZ group.

Prior to Frankfurt School, he was a Professor of Economics and Acting Head of the Banking and Finance ​Department at the University of Cooperative Education in Berlin. He studied economics at Goethe-University in ​Frankfurt, where he also obtained his Ph.D (Dr. rer. pol.). He started his career as a professional banker.

Currently he is completing the book ‘The Rise of China’s Economy: Past, Present, Future’, which will be ​published at the end of the year.

Professor Amal Nagah Elbeshbishi

Economist of UN Economic Commission for Africa

Professor Amal is an economist of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) - Office for North Africa, in Rabat, Morocco. She is also a tenured Professor of Economics at Faculty of Commerce, Mansoura University in Egypt.

Prior to joining UNECA in 2005, Amal lectured at universities in Bahrain, Egypt, and the United States of America. She has also worked with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UNESCWA) and the Egyptian Cabinet’s Information and Decision Support Center (IDSC). Amal is the author or co-author of many research papers and books on several economic and social development issues. Her areas of expertise include development economics, economic research and capacity building, economics, employment, international development, international development policy, international economics, and regional integration.

She holds a Master’s degree and a Ph.D. in Economics from Fordham University in the United States of America and a Master of Economics degree from Mansoura University in Egypt.

Christine Susanna Tjhin

Co-founder and Director of Strategic Communication & Research of Gentala Institute

Christine is the Co-founder and Director of Strategic Communication and Research at Gentala Institute, an Indonesia based business and management consulting company. She has also been a senior expert member of China Policy Group at the Foreign Policy Community Indonesia, an independent foreign policy study organisation, since 2017. Christine’s expertise is focused on Sino-Indonesian relation and China’s politics and foreign relations, as well as a series of related topics such as the digital economy and governance, and green development in recent years.

Prior to that, Christine worked at Centre for Strategics and International Studies, Indonesia, a non-profit policy research institution. There, she served as the Knowledge Manager, Senior Researcher in the Department of Politics and International Relations, Convenor of China Study Group, between 2003 and 2019. In addition, she served as the Program Officer for Research Division of Indonesian Pluralism Institute from 2002 until 2003, focusing on pluralism and civil society empowerment during that time.

She holds a Ph.D. in International Studies from Peking University, a Master of Arts in East Asian Studies from The Australian National University, and a Bachelor of Economics from Universitas Tarumanagara. Additionally, she was a visiting scholar of Beihang University from 2007 until 2008 and Fujian Normal University from 2006 until 2007. In September 2018, she participated in the International Visitor Leadership Program, the U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program. The Program she attended was centred on ASEAN security and US-ASEAN relations.

World Wide Web Icon in Circle Shape

Dr. Edward Tse

Founder and CEO of Gao Feng Advisory Company

Edward Tse is the founder and CEO of Gao Feng Advisory Company. He became one of the pioneers in China’s management consulting industry by building and running the Greater China operations of two leading international management consulting firms (BCG and Booz) for a period of 20 years.

He has been a consultant to hundreds of companies, investors, start-ups, and public-sector organisations (both headquartered in and outside of China) on all critical aspects of business in China and China for the world. He has also advised the Chinese government organisations at different levels on strategies, state-owned enterprise reform and Chinese companies going overseas, as well as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

He is the author of several hundred articles and six books including The China Strategy (2010), China’s Disruptors (2015) and《变局思维》(Strategic Thinking in the Era of Mega Changes) (2022).

World Wide Web Icon in Circle Shape

Dr. Srikanth Kondapalli

Professor in Chinese Studies of Centre for East Asian Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru ​University (JNU)

Dr. Kondapalli is a professor in Chinese Studies at JNU. He was the former Dean of School of International Studies at JNU from 2022 to 2024. He has been the Chair Professor under the Chair of Excellence of Ministry of Defence since August 2022. Educated in India and China with a Ph.D. in Chinese studies, he was a visiting fellow or honorary professor at multiple Chinese universities, including People’s University, China Institute for Contemporary International Relations, Shandong University, and Jilin University, and he was also a visiting professor at National Chengchi University in Taipei, Taiwan.

Dr. Kondapalli is a frequent writer and commentator in the international media, and he has been quoted regularly in BBC News, China Daily, The New York Times, and The Gradian, etc. With his area of interest focusing on China’s foreign and security policies, he is a guest faculty at Indian armed forces units, including the National Defence College, Army War College, College of Air Warfare, College of Naval Warfare, and College of Defence Management. He is also a distinguished fellow at several think-tanks including Vivekananda International Foundation and Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies.

His professional publications include China’s Military: The PLA in Transition (2019) and China’s Naval Power (2001), apart from his other monographs and co-edited volumes, such as One Belt One Road – China’s Global Outreach (2017), China and the BRICS: Setting up a Different Kitchen (2016), and China’s Military and India (2012).

World Wide Web Icon in Circle Shape

Chandran Nair

Founder & CEO, Global Institute For Tomorrow (GIFT)

Chandran Nair is the Founder and CEO of the Global Institute For Tomorrow(GIFT), an independent pan-Asian think tank based in Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur. GIFT focuses on advancing a deeper understanding of global issues including the shift of economic and political influence from the West to Asia, the dynamic relationship between business and society, and the reshaping of the rules of global capitalism.

Chandran was the chairman of Environmental Resources Management (ERM) in the Asia-Pacific until 2004, establishing the company as Asia’s leading environmental consultancy. He has advised governments and MNCs on strategic management and leadership issues and is often invited to speak and facilitate for top corporate education providers including Duke CE, INSEAD, London Business School, and NUS. He has also served on the Advisory Board of the world’s largest chemical company, BASF.

He is a regular speaker at WEF, a member of WEF’s Global Agenda Council on Governance for Sustainability and is currently on its Global Experts Forum. Chandran has had numerous articles published in The Financial Times, The New York Times, The Guardian, Die Zeit, and for The Club of Rome as a member of the Executive Committee. He has also appeared on numerous media platforms including the BBC, CNN, Bloomberg, Al Jazeera, and CNBC.

Chandran is the author of “Dismantling Global White Privilege: Equity for a Post-Western World”, “The Sustainable State: The Future of Government, Economy, and Society” and “Consumptionomics: Asia’s Role in Reshaping Capitalism and Saving the Planet”. He is also the creator of “The Other Hundred”, a non-profit global photojournalism initiative to present counterpoints to media consensus on some of today's most important issues.

World Wide Web Icon in Circle Shape

Eric Olander

Editor-in-Chief of The China-Global South Project

Eric Olander is the Editor-in-Chief of The China-Global South Project (, an ​independent, non-partisan multimedia news and research initiative dedicated to exploring China’s engagement ​in Africa and throughout the developing world.

Eric has more than 30 years of journalism experience as a chief editor, producer, and correspondent at many of ​the world’s leading international news organisations, including CNN, the BBC World Service, the Associated ​Press, and FRANCE 24, among others. He’s worked all over the world producing radio, TV, and digital ​journalism, but his primary area of expertise is China where he’s spent more than a decade in both academic ​and professional capacities.

Eric is a fluent Mandarin speaker with an undergraduate degree in East African history from the University of ​California at Berkeley and a Master of Public Affairs from the University of Hong Kong.

Gain a comprehensive understanding of China’s economic landscape, its planned reforms, and the outlook for the future.

Watch the Sessions from 2022

China in the 21st Century

Part 2

Finding Common Values: Plurality in the Emerging New World Order

Part 1

The 25th Anniversary: The Future of Hong Kong


Part 3

Investing in Stability and Prosperity: The New Multilateralism for Development

For enquiries, please contact:


Tel: (+852) 3571 8103

The Global Institute For Tomorrow (GIFT) is an independent pan-Asian think tank. We are dedicated to advancing a deeper understanding of today’s most critical drivers of change—from the emergence of a post-Western world to the reshaping of global capitalism and the dynamic relationship between business, society, and the state. With offices in Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur, our practical insights, internationally acclaimed leadership learning curriculum, and outcome-driven facilitation help our clients anticipate and navigate a turbulent 21st century.

Leadership Development

Management & Organisational Development

Sustainability Advisory

Policy Advisory

Understanding Global Shifts & The Rise of Asia

Follow us on

In Logo Blue Vector