Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Global Financial Crisis: US Recovery and China's Growth

Recently, Dr Steinbock, ICA Institute's Research Director for International Business, has been on a lecture/consultation tour in East Asia. The first destinations - Singapore and Kuala Lumpur - broke audience records.

Global Financial Crisis: US Recovery and China's Growth

The second lecture took place at the prestigious Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia. The lecture attracted more than 300 government leaders, senior executives, chambers of commerce, and foreign ambassadors and consults. It was followed by a 2 hour long Q&A session. "I was intrigued by the insights of many commentators, including the Malaysian economists, the Lebanese, UAE and Chinese representatives, as well as the chair of the US Chamber of Commerce," said Dr Steinbock afterwards. "The presentation triggered much discussion on the state of the US and Chinese economies, and the US-Chinese relations," he noted. "Understandably, we also examined Malaysia's key concerns. Last year, exports accounted more than 91% of Malaysia's GDP," he added. "Until now, the country has technically not been in recession. But the future is cloudy. As a result, we talked about the prospects of export-led growth amidst the crisis and in the post-crisis environment, comparing the local status quo with that of the East Asian tigers, Baltic economies, as well as larger advanced economies, such as Germany, and large emerging economies, such as China."

The event was followed by intensive media interviews with Malaysia's leading TV channels, dailies and magazines. According to Malaysia's Business Times, Dr Steinbock said that "the revitalization of global growth will be based on US recovery, China's sustained growth and a stable international environment." He added, "If any of these are missing, other issues will arise."

According to The Star Malaysia, Dr Steinbock said that, "during a global financial crisis, export-driven countries like Malaysia should try to diversify their revenue sources to sustain growth." He supported the Malaysian government efforts to engage in deficit financing. "Now governments worldwide are engaging in deficit financing. In the long term, however, it is equally important to move decisively and rapidly, soon as circumstances so allow, from fiscal deficits to fiscal consolidation."

Global Financial Crisis, US and China

The third public lecture was hosted by the Singapore Finnish Business Council. "The lecture led to an intriguing Q&A session," said Dr Steinbock. "Along with Hong Kong, Singapore is the leading East Asian tiger. The demise of export-led growth has triggered a somber mood. On the other hand, Singaporeans are known for their cool under pressure, initiative and persistence. This crisis, too, will pass." Participants also included members of other Nordic and EU business councils.

After meetings with government representatives, senior executives, think-tanks and research organizations in Singapore, he visited Malaysia. In Kuala Lumpur, his first lecture, "The Impact of Global Financial Crisis," was an intimate event hosted by the Malaysian Finnish Business Council.

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