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The Global Impacts of Trade and Financial Reform in China

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Abstract

Despite the setbacks from the recent Asian currency crisis, the ascendancy of Asia as an economic centre of world economic activity is likely to continue into the 21st century. A key issue that will shape the role of Asia, and indeed the shape of the world economy in the 21st century, is the economic development of China. To date China has successfully weathered the currency storm in Asia and continues on a program of economic reform. If anything, the problems of Japan and Korea provide powerful lessons for other countries undergoing rapid economic growth and structural change. These lessons include the importance of a well developed financial sector with lending and investment decisions based on market signals rather than government directives. Whether China can further integrate smoothly into global markets and sustain the fast growth of the last few decades will be a curcial development of the world economy. In this paper, we explore the impacts of continued Chinese economic reform with a focus on the role of international financial flows both in the adjustment within China as well as in the transmission of Chinese reforms to the rest of the world.

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