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China is the world’s second economy. It is also the world’s largest exporter of goods, a global industrial leader and a global financial player. The process of capital account liberalisation and renmimbi (RMB) internationalisation continues gradually and the opening of local asset markets to non-resident investors made rapid progress in the recent past. Meanwhile, controls over resident capital outflows remain significant.

China’s exchange rate regime is a managed float. The Chinese currency has gradually become more flexible and market-determined in recent years, but government discretion keeps significant influence on the direction of the fx rate. The RMB was included as the fifth currency in the IMF Special Drawing Rights (SDR) basket in October 2016.

Economic growth fell to 7.1% per year in 2012-2019 from 10.7% in 2002-2011. In 2020, the COVID-19 crisis demonstrated the Chinese economy’s strong capacity to absorb a major shock and rebound; real GDP returned to its pre-crisis level at the end of Q2 2020 and economic growth reached 2.3% in 2020 as a whole.

In the medium term, China’s structural slowdown is projected to continue. China continues a difficult economic transition: its investment/export-led growth model has reached its limits and far-reaching reforms are still needed to build a more balanced growth model that is more reliant on consumption and services, and less dependent on debt.