China's economic future 2021

Join discussions on China’s continued economic reforms and their implications for both the country and its global role.

11 March 2021 TO 12 March 2021 — 8:30AM TO 12:00PM

The balancing acts of economic transition 

This year, the Communist Party of China will mark its 100th anniversary and 72 years since it first came to power. The 2021 China’s Economic Future LIVE conference will explore some of the key questions on the balancing acts of China’s continued economic transformation. 

This two-day conference is part of our virtual LIVE series which connects international audiences and enables participants to engage in high-level panel discussions. Designed to provide a highly engaging online experience, key features include 1:1 networking, polling, Q&A with expert speakers and a live analysis of the results.

Why attend?

  • Explore China’s economic reforms as part of its continued transition to a developed economy including its new ‘dual circulation’ economic strategy.

  • Understand the drivers behind China’s rise as a global leader in technology and innovation.

  • Gain insight into China’s evolving international economic role as part of its rise as a global power. 

  • Explore how geopolitical and geoeconomic tensions are affecting China’s continued economic development.



Thursday 11 March (GMT) – timings subject to change

Keynote speech

Alberto Verme, Global Chairman of Institutional Clients Group for Citi to deliver the opening keynote speech. 


The balancing acts of economic transition

Exploring the various balancing acts of China’s continued economic transition including an assessment of its new ‘dual circulation’ strategy.

  • What is China’s new policy of ‘dual circulation’? What are the motivations behind it? And does it mark a significant break from previous economic policies? 

  • What efforts has China made to open its financial markets and increase foreign investment to the country? 

  • How can the country balance the demands of economic recovery from the effects of COVID-19 with reform? 

  • What challenges does China face in moving away from an export-led and debt-heavy model of economic development to that of a consumer-based economy?

  • What are the difficulties China faces in attempting to simultaneously centralize economic management while also encouraging the benefits of market forces?

  • How will the country balance the demands of a green transition as part of its continued economic development? 


  • David Lubin, Director and Head of Emerging Markets, Citi
  • Dr Yu Jie, Senior Research Fellow on China, Chatham House
  • Chair: Simon Rabinovitch, Asia Economics Editor, The Economist

Networking break


China in 2021

Exploring how China’s economic development shapes Chinese society and vice versa and the different opportunities and challenges this brings for China’s economic transition. 

  • How does Chinese society look in 2021? 

  • In what different ways do social considerations shape policy decisions?

  • How could the ‘dual circulation’ strategy and broader economic reforms impact domestic consumption?

  • What are the key areas of focus for increasing domestic consumption? 

  • What role will a changing Chinese society play in driving and sustaining China’s continued economic transition? 


  • Professor Jane Duckett, Edward Caird Chair of Politics, Glasgow University 
  • Geoffrey Yu, Senior EMEA Market Strategist, BNY Mellon

End of day one


Friday 12 March (GMT) – timings subject to change

China and technological transformation

Discussing China’s ambitions of becoming a global centre for technology and innovation and assessing its policy model of technological development.

  • What are the country’s ambitions and key priorities in developing its tech sector? 

  • What policies are the government using to try and achieve these ambitions and are they likely to succeed? 

  • What could be the implications of the ‘dual circulation’ policy and other economic reforms on the country’s continued technological development? 

  • Is China providing an alternative model for fostering technology and innovation?

  • In what different ways is China encouraging its tech sector internationally? 

  • What is the significance of the ‘Digital Silk Road’ and ‘China Standards 2035’ initiatives? 

  • How will the tensions between China and other technology powers affect strategies for growth and market access for both China’s own tech sector and those in the West?


  • Xiaolan Fu, Founding Director, Technology and Management Centre for Development, University of Oxford
  • Jeongmin Seong, Partner, McKinsey Global Institute
  • Professor Lan Xue, Dean of Schwarzman College, Tsinghua University 
  • Chair: John Thornhill, Innovation Editor, Financial Times



Networking break


China's global economy in a COVID-affected world

Exploring the impact of China’s economic transition and wider geopolitical developments on China’s international economic relations in the context of COVID-19 and beyond. 

  • What is the significance of economic considerations in shaping China’s foreign policy? 

  • In what ways is China seeking to expand its economic interests abroad? 

  • How have policies such as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) continued to evolve to sustain its continued economic development? 

  • What could be the implications of China’s economic reforms on its international economic relations? 

  • How are China’s international trade relations evolving? 

  • How have increasing international tensions impacted China’s economic policies? 

  • What could be the impact of a Biden presidency on US-China trade relations as well as on China’s international economic relations more broadly?


  • Nicolas Chapuis, Head of Delegation, Ambassador of the European Union to China
  • Shada Islam, Visiting Professor, European Interdisciplinary Studies Department, College of Europe
  • Jia Qingguo, Professor and Former Dean, School of International Studies, Peking University
  • Chair: Champa Patel, Director, Asia Pacific Programme, Chatham House 

End of day two


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