Report from China: Infrastructure and Growth

By November 7, 2007Infrastructure, Trade

chinaTravelBlog7.jpgNAM President called back to D.C. from Chengdu yesterday. We recorded his comments and share some of them here. (Via cell phone, so the quality leaves something to be desired. And what is that tune?)

Adding to yesterday’s post about infrastructure, he compared — ruefully? — the traffic congestion to Northern Virginia’s.

China has an aggressive strategy toward infrastructure investment, Engler notes, necessary at the very least to keep even with economic growth.

To hear those comments via an .mp3 file, click here.

More generally, Engler observed:

[There is] a sincere desire to increase domestic consumption in China, to lift the standard of living for literally tens of millions of people who are slightly above subsistence level. There’s a rising middle class here, so there’s clearly changing economic conditions in the country. …

[I]ncreasing domestic consumption should mean increased [U.S.] exports. We’ve seen U.S. exports to China rise; they’ve been relatively rapid in their rise compared to many other destinations, so that’s the good news. There clearly an ongoing issue about currency. While there has been an 11 percent appreciation over recent years, since the Chinese currency was unpegged from the dollar, still more progress needs to be made. And key Chinese official shave indicated that is the intent and it can’t be done overnight, but it can be done. And they expect that they will make headway.

With the caveat, a big one: ” We don’t walk away with the idea that all the problems have been solved.”

To listen to Engler’s comments about the economy and trade, click here.

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