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Populous China heads toward labour shortage

China can’t expect to sustain double-digit growth in the next decade because the abundant labour that supported its high-flying growth will not exist much longer, an expert on the Chinese economy said at a recent seminar.

In the years leading up to 2020, growth in China’s GDP will likely decline to an annual average of 8 percent, not the 9.8 percent it averaged over the past 30 years, said Kwan Chi Hung, senior fellow with the Nomura Institute of Capital Markets Research.

The global financial crisis has highlighted China’s economic resilience, Kwan said. China’s recovery from the September 2008 Lehman Brothers collapse is outpacing both advanced and emerging economies, and its growth hit a sizzling 10.7 percent in the fourth quarter, vaulting it past government projections to 8.7 percent for all of 2009.