M. François Blanc, Economic consultant at the French consulate of Shanghai gave a brilliant talk to Suzhou campus students on Friday 13 April. The talk was entitled « About a few clichés on the Chinese Economy”.
François Blanc is director of the Economic Mission. He has been in his current position for 4 years and in Asia since 2006. He deals with bilateral economic relations and tracks the evolution of the Chinese economy and its financial sector, especially for Eastern China.
The first part of his speech talked about current macro-economic questions in China : the historical reasons for the organisation of Chinese industry, the effects of the huge geographical inequalities, delocalisation towards the Western China and/or outside China into Pakistan, Bangladesh, new needs and modes of consumption of a rapidly emerging middle class, the demographic pressure of the working generation (who take care of their children and their parents, China’s role in an Asian model (Japan, Taiwan, Korea) etc.
The second theme was the environmental cost of development. Two key figures among others: 16 of the 20 most polluted cities in the world are in China, and China’s R and D budget tripled between 2003 and 2007. A large number of questions from the audience dealt with these themes in more detail. This highly informative talk with specific arguments and themes of discussion led to real thinking about this continent/country which is not short of paradoxes!