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"Staying in Dialogue with China" – Transcript of Webinar #1 with Prof. WANG Yong on "Economic Transition and Industrial Upgrading" (5th April 2024)


April 2024 | After 45 years of exceptional development and growth, structural complexities in Chinas political economy are becoming increasingly challenging, calling for policymakers to skillfully navigate China’s economy towards the proclaimed ‘High-Quality-Development’. To make sense of these complexities and potential policy conundrums that shape the strategic context for foreign business, CMG looks at China’s political economy and evolving policy environment by way of six structural transitions – three longer-term transitions that China embarked on with the ‘reform and opening up’ (改革开放) period, and three more recent transitions involving policy-steered trade-offs and rebalancing. In this 2024 ‘Staying in dialogue with China’ webinar series, we will explore, debate and refine this conceptualization to these six structural transitions featuring six distinguished Chinese economists as expert speakers.

To kick this 3rd series off, we are excited to talk to Prof. WANG Yong, Academic Deputy Dean of the Institute of New Structural Economics at Peking University (PKU) about the first of the six transitions – economic transition and industrial upgrading, or the transition from a largely agrarian to an industrialized and then post-industrial society, increasingly driven by innovation. In many areas, China has already reached the technology frontier. In several other areas, however, it is still far away, and in its pursuit to upgrade and strengthen industrial competitiveness and productivity gains sees itself confronted with competition from most advanced nations on advanced technologies and at the same with low-cost solutions provided by developing countries.

What are the key success factors for China's transition to successfully overcome the so-called "middle-income trap"? Why is the focus for Chinese policymakers so much on manufacturing today? How to ensure industrial upgrading in times of geopolitics and geoeconomic factors? How does China's industrial policymaking differentiate by sectors, mature and emerging technologies and differing strategic goals? Is overcapacity unavoidable? And: what role does the new concept of “new-quality productive forces” (新质生产力) add to policymaking?

WANG Yong is Associate Professor of Economics and Academic Deputy Dean of the Institute of New Structural Economics at Peking University. Before joining PKU, he worked at the Department of Economics at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) and the World Bank. He also serves as Secretary General of the New Structural Economics Research Alliance and Consultant of the World Bank. Yong publishes regularly in economic journals and is the author of eight books including Thoughts and Debates on New Structural Economics (Peking University Press). He obtained his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago. His main research fields are Economic Growth, Macro Development, China and India's Economy and Political Economy.


Check out the webinar transcript



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