Date: May 25, 2004
  Landing? What landing? It's cruising along

If you were one of China's top leaders, what would keep you from a sound sleep at night?

That was the unexpected topic of a roundtable luncheon attended by two dozen Hong Kong business leaders yesterday when, officially, it was meant to be a debate on the overheating of the nation's economy.

Edward Chen, president and chair professor of economics at Lingnan University of Hong Kong, was so optimistic that he felt most people have been "misreading China." He brushed off the notion of "soft landing," "hard landing" or "crash landing" as irrelevant. "The economy is going to cruise quite nicely," said the keynote speaker.

  Economy needs more than just speed-breakers

It's useless to argue whether the mainland economy is once again growing too fast, or overheating.

When investment in fixed assets grew (our sources in Beijing didn't cite the specific amount), 53 per cent in the January-February period compared with the same period last year and hit a peak since 1994; and when the supply of energy and raw materials are under their worst strains, hardly anyone can have the confidence not to say the economy is overheating.

China is overheating. There is no question about it. And the central government has been trying various tactics to cool it down beginning with the corporate finance regulations for real estate developers issued by the People's Bank of China last year. But apparently, just a few attempts at intervention didn't suffice.


Brief Introduction

China Daily CEO Roundtable (CDRT), a Hong Kong-based division of China Daily Group, provides opportunities for senior executives from multinational companies to share, learn and probe issues with speakers in open discussions about China's economic development and the business challenges the nation faces.

It is run as an informal meeting where movers and shakers well-versed in business in China can brainstorm.

Twenty-four top executives from Hong Kong's business community gathered yesterday for the second CDRT. Discussion centred around China's overheating economy, and measures being taken at various levels to cool it down. It was agreed that present measures are sensible and working but need to be taking further.

CDRT will now be taken on the road to other cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, so participants can access local government officials,companies and the executives of multinationals in an interactive setting.

Suggestions and comments are welcome to send to




Copyright 2004 by
All rights reserved.

  Senior Executives at 2nd CDRT  
Edward Chen, CBE, JP Lingnan Unviersity
  Company Name  
  3i Asia Pacific plc Jamie Paton  
  The Asia Foundation Allen Choate  
  BALtrans Holdings Limited Anthony Lau  
  Boeing International Corporation Jennifer Wang  
  British Consulate-General Malcolm Davies  
  Chia Tai Enterprises International Limited Lee G Lam  
  China Unicom Ltd William Lo, JP  
  Citigroup Global Markets Asia Ltd Yiping Huang  
  CLSA Private Equity Ltd Josephine Price  
  Conti Group Companies Inc. Michael A. Hoer  
  Exxon Mobile Energy Ltd Stephen Wong  
  Fidelity Investments Management (HK) Ltd Anne Lam  
  HKSAR Miranda Chiu, JP  
  Hong Kong CSL Ltd. Marisa Kwok  
  Legend Capital Partners Inc. Simon Wong  
  Meiya Power Company Ltd Colin Tam  
  Modern Terminals Ltd Bo Frank Nielsen  
  Pegasus Fund Managers Ltd Paul P.L. Pong  
  Shui On Holdings Ltd Wilfred Wong, JP  
  Sun Hung Kai & Co. Ltd David Parker  
  T-Systems China Limited Henrik Prossdorf  
  Warburg Pincus Asia LLC Chang Sun  
  Winterthur Life Hong Kong Jon Bradbury  
  China Advantage Resourcing Alexander Wan  
Click for previous meetings