Published on October 27, 2016
Also available in: English
Since the beginning of China’s economic transformation in the early 1970s, investment has been a key driver of China’s growth and has contributed to substantial improvements in living standards. Over three decades of average annual GDP growth of 10%, disposable incomes have soared, lifting hundreds of millions of people out of extreme poverty. The share of the population living in extreme poverty has declined from above 90% in the early 1980s to less than 10% today. However, this growth model is no longer sustainable. Returns on investment have declined, although they are still higher than those of the Asian Tigers. Excess capacity is plaguing several sectors, and negative externalities have been onerous, notably in terms of environmental degradation and income inequality. A key objective of the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) is therefore to move the economy towards a path of more balanced, sustainable and inclusive growth.