PBOC former governor on Chinese economy
Updated 22:20, 15-Mar-2019
CGTN Global Business and Juliet Mann
03:24

The former governor of the People's Bank of China (PBOC), Zhou Xiaochuan, just won the lifetime achievement award of Central Banking magazine. And before the prize-giving ceremony, he sat down with CGTN's Juliet Mann to talk about China's economy. He acknowledged painful lessons have been learned, but still had confidence for future growth.

Zhou on economic growth

“We are going in this process, trying to figure out what are the new drives for Chinese economic growth,” Zhou said.

He said infrastructure investment and urbanization investment made a great contribution to GDP growth in the past. 

But China has developed “pretty good infrastructure, and [have] very fast urbanization process together with public infrastructure and public facility,” he noted, adding that traditional growth engines might not generate to GDP as much as before and the country needs to figure new economic drives.

Meanwhile, Zhou indicated that China had a lot of “liabilities” to deal with, such as issues of environmental pollution, climate change and income distribution. “So now we need to spend money in this regard,” he advised.

Zhou Xiaochuan, the former governor of the People's Bank of China (PBOC), attends a news conference after a seminar on the international financial architecture in Paris, France, March 31, 2016. /VCG Photo

Zhou Xiaochuan, the former governor of the People's Bank of China (PBOC), attends a news conference after a seminar on the international financial architecture in Paris, France, March 31, 2016. /VCG Photo

Zhou on China's reform and opening up

“We still have lots of things waiting for further reform.” Zhou added, saying that challenges in areas like state-owned enterprises and functions of local governments, are significant for China and still waiting for further reform. 

And in terms of economic reform, Zhou advised to deepen reform in the pension system, enlarge opening up in the financial sector as well as accelerate development of capital market.

From his perspective, China will open its door wider than before, inviting “foreign financial institutions and market participants to do business in China.”

In his opinion, a better ownership system is necessary, which could help financial institutions go public quicker than before. “And another thing is capital market development. We can do it much better,” he continued.

“We made a lot of mistakes. So we got some painful lessons. Sometimes, it's overheating. Sometimes, it's crash…it's reform transition, and it's learning process. People need to know what to do and they need to study experience internationally. They need to realize by themselves that it's never too late and we can do it in the coming years,” Zhou told CGTN.