S003_PROC-852.2015

ACHEMA Worldwide News2/2015

Worldwide News EDITOR’S PAGE THE PR CHINA — STILL A HOTSPOT FOR OUR INDUSTRY? n DR. THOMAS SCHEURING CEO, DECHEMA Ausstellungs-GmbH n But as trivial as it may sound: The 7 % today are a totally different story than they were 25 years ago. In absolute terms this means the Chinese economy is still growing, year after year, by the volume of a mid-sized European country’s overall economy. In other words: The total GDP of a country like for instance Belgium is adding up to the Chinese economy every single year. Is this really an indication of economic weakness? I guess not at all. To me it is obvious that the wealth of business opportunities which have inspired Western enterprises since Deng Xiaoping’s opening policy in the early eighties is still there. Maybe you have to search harder than a couple of years ago, and maybe margins have somewhat declined, too. But then again this is normal reality with any economy which has achieved a certain level of maturity after the gold rush of the early years is over. What does this mean for the chemical process industry? Nothing else than it would be simply very bad timing to turn your back on China now in view of some bad headlines. “It would be simply very bad timing to turn your back on China now in view of some bad headlines.” The country has just recently become one of the world’s leading economies, which means regular economic patterns are replacing the development scheme of China’s era as an emerging country. And, no doubt: The chemical process industry remains one of the corner stones of China’s industrial landscape! It is true — if China makes headlines these days they are mainly bad news. Be it the volatility of the stock market, the current slowdown of its growth rate, or, quite recently, the explosion of a chemical warehouse in Tianjin: All of this is more suited to raise concerns regarding China’s long-term economic and social stability than to enhance the confidence of investors in the Chinese economy. But, then again, the decisiveness of the Chinese government to cope with these challenges commands respect as well. The combat against corruption has led to serious results and to a definite improvement of the business climate with better basic parameters for doing business in China. The devaluation of the Chinese Renminbi came as a strong signal at the right time. And the enforcement of strict environmental standards will lead to an improvement of living conditions in China on the long term with first tangible results already now. So let’s talk about economic growth. The growth rate of the Chinese GDP indeed has been in the high single-digit range or even reached double-digit values throughout the last two decades, and is now down to seven or even six percent only. To find a growth rate lower than 7 % in China’s more recent history you would have to go back as far as 1990, when the aftermath of the Tiananmen tragedy the year before hit China’s economy quite badly. A special edition from PROCESS 3


ACHEMA Worldwide News2/2015
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