Expanding Economy: Since 2014 China has been the world’s largest economy with GDP (PPP) of US$24.1 trillion in 2020, i.e. nearly 15% bigger than the 2nd largest US economy. Annual GDP growth averaged 7.4% over 2009-2020. China’s foreign exchange reserves are by far the world’s largest at US$3.3 trillion as of March 2020.
Huge Domestic Market: China became the world’s largest energy consumer in 2010 and is expected to generate about 25% of the projected increase in global energy demand until 2040. As one of the indicators, China surpassed the United States as the largest automobile market in the world in 2009 with private car ownership growing to 450 million in 2020. China is the fourth-most-visited country in the world, with about 66 million international visitors in 2019 largely due to increasing global business contacts and cultural exchange.
Industrial Powerhouse: China is the world’s largest exporter and leading industrial power. It has been a member of the WTO since 2001 with a total international trade value of US $4.7 trillion in 2020, including US $2.6 trillion in exports. Its output of major industrial products including crude steel, coal, electricity, cement, fertilizer and woven cotton fabrics is the highest in the world.
Stability and Reforms: China has enjoyed relative social and political stability for decades thanks to the steadily-high economic growth and prudent policy mix. Its unemployment rate has been declining consistently over years and hit a new all-time low of 3.6% in 2019, growing to 4.2% in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this indicator is projected to stabilize at 3.6% starting in 2021.Several years ago the government shifted its attention to various reforms aimed at changing the economic model from the export to domestic demand-driven one while still prioritizing the pro-growth agenda and economic stability.