Even as the global economy grapples with inflation, supply chain constraints and high commodity prices, new payment solutions are helping billions in emerging markets access and deploy much-needed capital.

Driven by a decline in cash payments during the Covid-19 pandemic, digital payments skyrocketed in line with the growth in e-commerce, as the financial technology (fintech) sector expanded to provide consumers with a wider variety of payment options.

The growth of digital payments has been strongest in emerging markets, where noncash retail payments increased by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25% between 2018 and 2021, compared to 13% globally for the same period. A young, tech-savvy population and demand access to financial services are driving growth.

Digital payments are expected to continue to expand globally, with a projected CAGR of 15% for 2022-26.

Fintech in emerging markets has drawn significant investment

Fintech in emerging markets has also drawn significant investment. Fintech operators accounted for 37% of the record $4.85bn in funding that African start-ups received in 2022 – the largest share of any sector.

This growth, evident in the uptake of cryptocurrency and microcredit models such as “buy now, pay later” (BNPL), serves to expand financial inclusion while reshaping the way consumers tap into capital inflows.

Boosting financial inclusion

According to the World Bank, some 1.4bn adults remained unbanked as of July 2022. Banking penetration has increased significantly in recent years, however, with 76% of adults having access to a bank account globally, compared to 51% a decade ago.

The digitalisation of financial services has been integral to expanding financial inclusion, as well as diversifying the sector. The popularity of digital payment methods has benefitted non-traditional financial actors as well, with nonbanks owning the dominant front-end payment application in countries like India, Kenya, the Philippines and Vietnam.

One such mobile-enabled system, India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI), has helped digital payments in the country rise by 50% over each of the past five years. In March the Reserve Bank of India debuted a UPI for feature phones, a development that could potentially bring financial services to an estimated 400m people in rural areas.

Another popular mobile money system, M-Pesa, allows users to make payments and store and receive funds via their mobile phones, granting access to financial services in areas where banks do not have a presence. The service is used by 51m people across seven African countries and is set to expand into Ethiopia following a licence approval in October 2022.

Innovative payment methods are even helping to provide more accessible and affordable health care to consumers in emerging markets. Nigeria’s Soso Care, for example, accepts recyclable waste such as scrap metal, plastic or car batteries in exchange for health coverage, seeking to bridge the care gap and tackle waste disposal in a country where 23% of the population has health insurance.

Digital currency developments

Blockchain-powered fintech, especially cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), offer decentralised exchanges that enable transaction flows despite macroeconomic pressures such as rising US interest rates and inflation on fiat currencies around the world.

Due to these advantages, emerging markets are leading the uptake of cryptocurrency despite the global bear market: 10 of the top-20 countries on the 2022 Global Crypto Adoption Index published by blockchain data platform Chainanalysis were classified as lower-middle-income countries, while eight were upper middle income.

Vietnam ranked first on the index, due in part to the popularity of cryptocurrency-based gaming platforms that use play-to-earn models. The Philippines, Ukraine and India held the second, third and fourth spots, respectively.

NFT marketplaces such as FanCraze, a platform that sells cricket NFTs and has financial backing from US venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, are credited with India’s rise on the index.

Despite sharp declines in value, Bitcoin was adopted as legal tender by the Central African Republic in April 2022. Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, Africa’s four-largest economies, also boast the largest number of cryptocurrency holders on the continent.

Uptake of central bank digital currencies (CBDC) has also grown as governments attempt to navigate the burgeoning digital currency landscape. As a digital form of cash issued and regulated by central banks, CBDCs are seen as less volatile than cryptocurrency assets. More than 100 CBDCs were in development stages around the world as of mid-2022, with Nigeria’s eNaira debuting in October 2021 and the Bahamas’ sand dollar launched the year before.

Hoping to expand their fiscal reach and make up for funding shortfalls, a number of African nations have levied taxes on digital transactions.

In May 2022 Ghana rolled out a 1.5% tax on the transfer amount of electronic transactions. Despite consumer criticism and a resurgence in cash-based transactions, the measure may be encouraging formalisation by driving businesses to register with the Ghana Revenue Authority, thereby broadening the country’s tax base.

In addition to China, which officially announced the use of digital yuan for citizens at the beginning of 2020, many countries are continuing to study and experiment with this, such as Sweden’s e-krona trial.

The Bank of Thailand (BOT) together with 8 commercial banks has initiated “Project Inthanon” since 2017 to study the efficiency and feasibility of using CBDC in the financial sector. Including trials of cross-border money transfers with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. 


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BANGKOK (NNT) – The Bank of Thailand (BOT) is expected to raise interest rates by 25 basis points on Wednesday (25 Jan) to curb elevated inflation, with further hikes likely even as China’s reopening brightens the economic outlook.

While price pressures in Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy have been cooling, inflation in December was still 5.89% – well above the central bank’s 1-3% target.

BOT to raise its benchmark to 1.50%

21 of 23 economists polled by Reuters expect the BOT to raise its benchmark one-day repurchase rate by 25 basis points (bps) to 1.50% on January 25. The remaining two forecast no change.

Thailand expects 25 million foreign visitors this year

Thailand, one of Asia’s most popular tourist destinations, is expected to receive at least 5 million Chinese tourists and a total of 25 million foreign visitors this year, providing a much needed boost to an economy severely impacted by the global pandemic.

Thailand’s economy is expected to expand 3.7-3.8% in 2023

The poll showed Thailand’s economy is expected to expand 3.7-3.8% this year and next, respectively, in line with government projections.

Nearly 70% of respondents, or 15 of 22, expect another hike of 25 basis points to 1.75% by end-March. Six forecast rates at 1.5% by then, and one said it would still be at 1.25%.

The poll median showed that the central bank would then raise borrowing costs by another 25 bps, taking it to 2% by end-September.

Poll medians showed inflation would average 2.8% this year and then fall to 1.9% in 2024.

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  • Reporter : Paul Rujopakarn
  • Rewriter : Tarin Angskul
  • National News Bureau :


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The ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO) today revised downwards its short-term growth forecast for the ASEAN+3 region.

Deteriorating global economic conditions are weighing on the region’s outlook, but China’s reopening last December should provide some counterbalance.

In its January Update, AMRO estimates ASEAN+3 growth for 2022 to come in at 3.3 percent — down from the 3.7 percent growth forecast in October. This is due mainly to continuing weakness in Plus-3 economies, especially China where growth has turned out to be much weaker.

“China’s stronger economy will provide support for regional activity while the border reopening will boost intraregional tourism.”

AMRO Chief Economist, Hoe Ee Khor

Growth in the ASEAN region, buoyed by strong domestic demand, is revised upwards to 5.6 percent. This year, growth in the ASEAN+3 region is projected to strengthen to 4.3 percent, as China’s economy is expected to rebound strongly reflecting the removal of containment measures and reopening of its economy. Inflation is anticipated to come down to 4.5 percent in 2023 from the projected 6.3 percent spike last year.

The weakening global environment has taken the wind out of the sails of the region’s external trade momentum. The drag on economic activity from aggressive monetary policy tightening in the United States and euro area will be felt more fully this year, translating to softer export orders for the ASEAN+3.

However, the ongoing resumption of tourism — especially with the return of Chinese tourists — will provide a much-needed boost to growth.

“With recession risks still haunting the United States and Europe, China’s economic reopening cannot come at a better time for the region,” said AMRO Chief Economist, Hoe Ee Khor. “China’s stronger economy will provide support for regional activity while the border reopening will boost intraregional tourism.”

Inflation is moderating across ASEAN+3, tempered by sustained policy tightening by central banks and easing global supply chain bottlenecks. Oil prices have reverted to almost pre-pandemic levels reflecting weaker global demand. Prices of key agricultural commodities — although remaining relatively high due to the prolonged war in Ukraine — have fallen from their peaks in 2022.

AMRO’s assessments are found in the latest quarterly update of its flagship report, the ASEAN+3 Regional Economic Outlook (AREO). The AREO 2023 will be published in April.


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The Bangkok South Criminal Court has indicted Chinese businessman Chaiyanat Kornchayanant, alias “Tuhao,” and 40 other suspects on a number of counts, including trafficking in illegal drugs and money laundering.

Charges include illegal firearms and ammunition possession, narcotics trafficking, money laundering, operating an entertainment facility without a license and employing foreign nationals, working without a work authorization, and housing illegal immigrants, among other offenses.

The Golden Triangle drug trade, which has grown in recent years, is allegedly subsidizing the Chinese crime leaders’ acquisition of Thai passports, identities, and land, according to the Thai police.

Most alarming are claims that these gangs don’t fear either the police or the law because Thai laws are applied laxly and secretively.


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BANGKOK (NNT) – The government has disclosed that nearly 60,000 bank accounts were frozen last year, with almost 120,000 telephone numbers frozen for their use in criminal operations.

According to government spokesperson Rachada Dhnadirek, the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society has joined forces with the police and other agencies to tackle cybercrime activities.

58,463 bank accounts and 118,530 phone lines frozen

She stated that in 2022, 166 suspects from eight foreign call center gangs were arrested, while 58,463 bank accounts and 118,530 phone lines were discovered to be used for illegal operations and were frozen by authorities. Eight illegal account-trading groups on social media and 1,830 gambling websites were also shut down last year.

27.3 billion baht in damages from March 1 to December 31

Meanwhile, 163,091 complaints were filed on the police website, totaling nearly 27.3 billion baht in damages from March 1 to December 31 of last year. 51% of these complaints are about overseas contact center gangs, 40.5% concerning domestic online scams, and 8.5% regarding other cybercrimes.

The spokesperson stressed that the government is prioritizing combating cybercrime, which has risen rapidly in recent years, and that related departments are working with international agencies to tackle this issue.

Complaints against cybercrime can be made through or by contacting authorities through the Electronic Transaction Development Agency’s 1212 hotline.

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Reporter : Krajangwit  Johjit

Rewriter : Tarin Angskul

National News Bureau :


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China will allow the resumption of overseas group tours to 20 countries, including Thailand, from February 6, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism announced Friday.

The Chinese authorities have given their approval for group tours and “flight + hotel” services in 20 countries. In addition to Thailand, these are Indonesia, Cambodia, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Laos, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Kenya, South Africa, Russia, Switzerland, Hungary, New Zealand, Fiji, Cuba and Argentina.

Thailand’s largest source of tourists

China is by far the largest source of tourists to Thailand, but the recent easing of travel restrictions by Beijing only applied to individual travelers.

Thailand was one of the most popular vacation destinations over the Lunar New Year, according to, which reported a six-fold rise in travel searches from China.

As much as 7-8 million expected for the whole year

Chinese tourist arrivals are expected to start rising sharply in the second quarter of this year and could reach 7-8 million for the whole year.

According to a recent study by the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, this could raise the overall number of foreign immigrants to between 26 and 27 million.

In 2019, Thailand welcomed 11.5 million Chinese visitors out of a total of 39 million international arrivals, of which about 4.3 million were from group travel. Tourism receipts from Chinese travelers represented 531 billion bahts in 2019, a significant part of the 1.9 trillion total.

No travel restrictions for Chinese in Thailand

After the exponential increase in Covid cases in China, many countries, such as South Korea and Japan, have imposed testing restrictions on visitors from China. But not Thailand, which remains the favorite destination for Chinese when they travel abroad.

Beijing has responded by ceasing to grant visas to residents of its two Asian neighbors, branding their entry requirements for visitors from China as “discriminatory.”


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The Ministry of Labour expressed concerns about personnel shortages in the tourism industry as Thailand continues to welcome more international travelers.

Even though employee revenue from hotel service charges has nearly reached pre-pandemic levels as Chinese tourists begin to visit Thailand again, workers are still hesitant to return to the hospitality sector.

Permanent Secretary of Labor Boonchob Suttamanuswong stated that he has recently met with the Thai Hotels Association (THA), the Tourism Council of Phuket, the Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA) and related agencies to discuss labor shortages in the tourism industry.

The ministry recently conducted a survey on personnel shortages in the tourism industry and discovered that out of 32,359 businesses in 60 provinces, about 1,817 operators require workers for their businesses, totaling 9,763 people. Phuket, Chiang Mai, Chon Buri, Phangnga, and Surat Thani are the top five provinces where workers are in short supply in the tourism industry. Employers are looking for receptionists, porters, waiters, cleaners and housemaids, cooks, kitchen staff, cashiers, and accountants.

According to Boonchob, THA has reported that while five-star hotels have enough manpower to welcome guests during the New Year holidays, the three-star and four-star hotels faced personnel shortages which affected their service operations. These agencies expressed their worry since labor shortage remains a big issue as foreign arrivals are increasing in the upcoming days.

Meanwhile, ATTA has expressed concerns about the lack of tour guides as foreigners continue to arrive in the country. The association proposed a legal change that would allow foreigners to work as tour guides to alleviate manpower shortages.

The permanent secretary stated that, in order to address the issue in the long-term situation, the Department of Skill Development will launch a program to upskill final-year undergraduates studying tourism and hospitality. The department will also work with businesses in the field to hire them upon graduation, providing businesses with skilled employees for the tourism industry.

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Thailand Futures Exchange PCL (TFEX) announces that its trading volume in 2022 remained strong with a total of 136,316,012 contracts, or 565,627 contracts per day, similar to the previous year.

Most active products were Stock Futures and SET50 Futures which accounted for 42 percent and 40 percent of total trading volume respectively, followed by gold products consisting of Gold Online Futures and Gold Futures at 9 percent, and USD Futures at 7 percent.

USD Futures increased significantly in trading volume, surging 192 percent from the previous year due to the higher volatility in exchange rate and the extended trading hours of USD Futures last year. In addition, the sharp increase in trading volume was seen in SET50 Options at 23 percent and SET50 Futures at 15 percent.

The open interest at the end of December 2022 increased 5 percent from a year earlier to 3,983,852 contracts. The number of total trading accounts rose 7 percent to 290,628 accounts.

TFEX Managing Director Rinjai Chakornpipat said that TFEX this year will implement its new trading system in the first quarter together with a revision of trading regulations to align with the current environment.

On products and services development, TFEX plans to explore on extending trading hours of Currency Futures, introduce new Currency Futures contract, and boost trading liquidity.

TFEX will also focus on expanding its investor base through online channels in terms of both collaboration with members on marketing activities and practical education via its and social media platform.

For more information, please visit or call +66 2009 9999.


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China’s economic growth in 2023 will be led by several key industries that are forecast to flourish due to the lifting of COVID restrictions, as well as government support and incentives.

These include tourism, new energy vehicles, online shopping, software development, and healthcare. We discuss five main Chinese industries that will be of considerable interest to foreign investors in 2023.

2022 set the tone for a turning point in China’s economy. After several COVID-19 outbreaks throughout the year, which led to a widespread economic slowdown, Beijing has abandoned the most stringent aspects of its Zero-Covid policy to facilitate the resumption of industrial activity and speed up production.

New forecasts for China’s real GDP growth set to 5.2 percent in 2023

In response to Beijing’s shift to “living with COVID”analysts have raised their forecasts for China’s real GDP growth to 5.2 percent in 2023 (from 4.7 percent) and 4.8 percent in 2024 (from 4.5 percent). Analysts at J.P. Morgan increased their estimates of the country’s annual growth rate to 4.3 percent from 4 percent.

That said, in coming months, China’s economy will still face several internal and external headwinds, such as weak domestic consumption, declining business confidence, and disruptions caused by the surge of COVID-19 infections. This has prompted calls for strong and focused policies to help restore private sector business activity in 2023.

Unsurprisingly, top leaders and policymakers were committed to accelerating policy measures to bolster the faltering economy at the 2022 closed-door Central Economic Work Conference (CEWC). Indeed, as set out in the CEWC, China will double down on economic growth in 2023, with anticipated measures to boost domestic demand, attract and utilize foreign capital, stabilize the housing market, and restructure the technology industry.

Against this background, analysts have predicted that China’s economy will be able to see an above-trend sustained rebound starting from the second quarter of 2023, following the country’s reopening.

In this article, we look into the Chinese industries that are likely to experience strong growth in 2023.

Tourism and entertainment

The tourism and entertainment industry has a positive outlook for 2023, thanks to a more relaxed COVID policy and further opening.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a catastrophic effect on the tourism sector, and due to stringent quarantine rules for visitors entering China, in the past two years, the majority of Chinese customers have been prevented from traveling abroad. However, the sheer scale of the local customer base, which has been eagerly rediscovering the country and its beautiful landscape, has allowed China’s tourism sector to rebound dramatically.

Camping and outdoor activities have become extremely popular since the start of the pandemic, and will likely continue to be so. Indeed, the growing popularity of camping is proof of the Chinese tourism sector’s adaptability and durability, as well as the kinds of novel opportunities that may materialize even in the face of severe constraints, proving that the industry will continue to grow.

Moreover, demand for industry services is expected to rebound over the next five years. The hotel sector’s structure will continue to change, with a larger portion of industry income coming from three- and four-star hotels. Foreign businesses now control the high-end industry, but they have recently been expanding into the lower star-rated segment to attract a wider range of clients and solidify their market positions.

Looking at China’s catering sector, revenue from cafes, bars, and other drinking establishments is anticipated to rise to RMB 6.03 trillion (US$894.36 billion) by the end of 2023. Coffee shops, for example, are expected to grow by 5 percent over the next five years, adding a total of 120,000 stores across the country. Revenue generated by the bar industry is projected to reach US$29.4 billion by 2025, with an impressive CAGR of 18.8 percent. As China continues to open up, people are likely to spend more on these types of activities.

NEVs and lithium batteries

Automotive is a key industry for developing countries like China, as it hosts an array of second and third-tier manufacturers, all supporting the major global manufacturers.

The new energy vehicles (NEVs) and automobile manufacturing industries in China have seen rapid growth. This has mainly been driven by the central government’s supportive policies and subsidies, growing environmental concerns, increased number of charging stations, and decreased operating costs for NEVs. Between 2017 and 2022, the industry revenue increased by 48.1 percent annually, and the industrial output grew from 794,000 units to over 5.6 million units in the same period. The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) predicted that China’s NEV sales in 2023 would grow by 35 percent year-on-year to 9 million units.

The NEV industry segment is expanding at an unprecedented rate, as part of Beijing’s conscious efforts to lower its carbon footprint while exploring the multi-billion-dollar market segment. In 2020, the Chinese government first introduced new measures to support the NEV industry – electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles, and fuel cell vehicles – which had been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It then announced the extension of tax exemption for NEV customers throughout 2023 as part of its plan to achieve 20 percent NEV deployment by 2025. Meanwhile, the question for 2023 remains whether the market can shift toward more stable growth with less government intervention on the production side of the industry or whether Beijing will once again step in to support the sector expansion.

Meanwhile, competition in the sector for 2023 is also expected to grow, as dozens of new models are expected to debut in the new year from tech giants, such as Baidu, and smart NEV manufacturers, such as Xpeng and Nio.

One important consideration is that China is the world’s leading lithium-ion battery manufacturer, the batteries that are used in most electric cars. While the bulk of the world’s lithium resources is held by other countries, China has acquired the highest number of lithium mines abroad, further indicating that its future will be electric.

E-commerce and livestreaming

China’s e-commerce market – the largest in the world – grew by 10.4 percent in 2022 as customers rapidly transitioned from traditional retail to online shopping. The industry is anticipated to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.6 percent between 2021 and 2025, eventually reaching RMB 21.4 trillion (US$3.3 trillion). The percentage of e-commerce platform users is expected to reach 83.9 percent over the same period, with an estimated 1,230.4 million active users.

By the end of 2022, China’s e-commerce livestreaming market is projected to generate RMB 1.2 trillion (US$180 billion) in total revenue, with a total of 660 million viewers. This figure is anticipated to increase even further in 2023 to reach RMB 4.9 trillion (US$720 billion). Livestreaming functions as a means for boosting sales and brand awareness and has rapidly grown to become an essential tool for businesses that embark on online selling.

Foreign investors who are eying China’s enormous domestic market are encouraged to fully leverage its huge online shopping channels in 2023.

Software and high-tech industries

Goldman Sachs anticipates that China’s software sector will achieve revenue growth of 28 percent year-on-year in 2023, compared to 14 percent in 2022. In terms of the automotive software segment, top picks include Thundersoft, DeSe, and ArcSoft Corp, while in the cyber security software segment, expectations are high for Beijing VenusTech. The smartphone segment, however, is expected to remain flat throughout 2023, while high-tech electronics look very promising.

Generally speaking, the industry is projected to grow by 14.67 percent between 2022 and 2027, reaching a volume of US$50.05 billion. In particular, the application development software segment will grow by 16.17 percent over the same period.

Meanwhile, Beijing is paving the way for its high-tech sectors to thrive. In 2022the government released the country’s first national-level policy document for the development of technologies related to the metaverse (the “Action Plan”), including virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR). VR is also listed among the “key industries” for the digital economy in the 14th Five-Year Plan (FYP), China’s overarching economic and industrial development plan for the period from 2021 to 2025. The Action Plan is a clear signal that the Chinese government is banking on VR technology and the metaverse to become the next big thing in the digital space.

Revenue in the AR and VR sectors is expected to reach US$5.43 billion by the end of 2022, and it is estimated to grow by 14.64 percent annually in the years leading up to 2027, resulting in a total market volume of US$10.75 billion.


China’s health industry is expanding at an unprecedented rate. The sector has grown to be the second biggest in the world due to a number of factors, including a longer life expectancy, an aging population, and higher aspirations for quality of life.

In addition, since the Healthy China 2030 project was launched in 2016, there has been considerable investment in local healthcare infrastructure, market reforms, and assistance for innovation. The delivery of healthcare services is becoming increasingly effective thanks to this project. The COVID-19 pandemic and related travel restrictions have also sped up the development and uptake of online medical and pharmaceutical services in China, further contributing to the industry’s modernization.

Between 2023 and 2024, the industry is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 39 percent.

Several research firms estimate considerable growth in the biotech and pharmaceutical sector, which will be worth over US$90 million in 2023. This is especially true given the increasing investment in cutting-edge therapies. Nowadays, biotech medications are preferred over conventional ones due to their reduced adverse effects.

The Chinese government’s R&D investment in biotech exceeded US$291 billion in 2019, and by 2020, Chinese companies accounted for almost a third of all biotech IPOs worldwide. As a result, biotech has also emerged as a crucial field for Chinese innovation and is supported by several preferential policies, such as interest-free loans and land incentives.


With China officially reopening its borders and abolishing its “zero-COVID” policies, sectors and fields that have been seriously affected by COVID-19 prevention and control will also become those with a larger margin for rebound and expansion in 2023. These include (but are not limited to) services, travel, and entertainment. In addition, promising industries which align with the government’s plan for development and innovation are likely to continue to benefit from Beijing’s policy support and incentives.

China Briefing is written and produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The practice assists foreign investors into China and has done so since 1992 through offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Suzhou, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. Please contact the firm for assistance in China at [email protected].

About the author

ASEAN Briefing features business news, regulatory updates and extensive data on ASEAN free trade, double tax agreements and foreign direct investment laws in the region. Covering all ASEAN members (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam)


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Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, January 2023 – In a special address at the 53rd World Economic Forum, Vice-Premier Liu of China offered assurances to participants on continuing liberalization and a loosening of restrictions on China’s real estate sector.

“China’s door to the outside will only open wider.”

As China battles a COVID wave, Liu noted that the country had dropped quarantine requirements and other travel restrictions that had been in place since early 2020. “China’s door to the outside will only open wider,” he said.

Liu repeated the formulation first put forward by President Xi Jinping in 2017, reiterating that in China markets will play a “decisive role in resource allocation.” He said:

“Some people say China will go for the planned economy. That’s by no means possible.”

Chinese Vice-Premier Liu

Liu noted that the real estate sector, which saw titans face collapse in 2021 and 2022, unable to meet debt obligations, remains a pillar of the Chinese economy. “It accounts for nearly 40% of bank lending, 50% of overall local government fiscal resources, and 60% of urban household assets,” he said. “If not handled properly, risks in the housing sector are likely to trigger systemic risks.”

“We have relaxed restrictions that were once introduced to address the overheating in the property market,” he added, referring to the “Three Red Lines” introduced in August 2020.

China’s Common Prosperity agenda

Seeking to allay fears that China’s Common Prosperity agenda amounted to radical wealth redistribution, Liu described it instead as a “long-term task that requires an incremental and gradual approach” and not something to be achieved overnight. He said that Common Prosperity was aimed at preventing polarization, adding: “Common prosperity is by no means a synonym for egalitarianism or welfarism.”

China’s commitment to globalization

In a distinct echo of President Xi’s Davos speech in 2017, Liu underscored China’s commitment to globalization. “We oppose unilateralism and protectionism and look forward to strengthening international cooperation with all countries for world economic stability and development, and the promotion of economic re-globalization.”

He affirmed China’s twin goals of achieving peak carbon emissions before 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality by 2060. “Carbon neutrality is China’s international obligation,” he said. “This is also what China needs in driving internal growth. It is not something imposed on us, but something that we want to do.”


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