Blog A Year of Tectonic Shifts, and More to Come
China grew at its slowest pace in 24 years in 2014, a reflection of a larger shift from an economy driven by investment and exports to one that relies more on domestic consumption. That slowdown, combined with declining commodity prices, has dealt a harsh blow to Australia’s economy and its currency. Meanwhile, the Bank of Japan’s fresh bout of monetary stimulus in October has done little to put the economy back on track in the wake of an April tax hike that crippled consumer demand.
But for all that, the Asia-Pacific region still brims over with potential and exciting new opportunities. Indonesia and India both elected reform-minded leaders in 2014, and the sharp decline in the price of crude oil is giving a boost to energy importers such as India, Indonesia, and South Korea. And although China’s overall GDP growth is slowing, Alibaba’s record-breaking $25 billion IPO last year proved that the country is now producing world-class companies. What’s more, the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect recently gave investors the ability to directly invest in mainland firms.
With the Federal Reserve preparing to hike interest rates and Europe implementing its own form of quantitative easing as it struggles to avoid deflation and achieve meaningful growth, Asia-Pacific economies face significant challenges. This will be the subject of conversation when leaders and experts from academia, finance, economics, and politics gather in Hong Kong March 23-27 at Credit Suisse’s 18thAnnual Asian Investment Conference.
Watch this blog for ongoing coverage of the conference, including insights from panelists and keynote speakers on the ongoing forces driving global markets.