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China can’t be ignored – JPMorgan

The country is too big to sideline, according to the investment bank’s Asia CEO

China is an important player on the global economic stage that cannot be left aside, JPMorgan Asia Pacific CEO Sjoerd Leenart said on Thursday at the 20th annual Global China Summit in Shanghai.

According to the chief executive, a lot of international companies are investing in the economic powerhouse despite the prevailing political rhetoric.

“You can’t ignore it, you have to do business there, even if you decide not to do business there, you need to understand what’s going on,” Leenart argued, adding that what happens in China “influences every industry around the world.”

According to a CNBC report, China currently accounts for 19% of GDP and 48% of Asia’s GDP in terms of purchasing power parity.

Leenart underscored China’s importance in the region’s investment banking business, claiming that “banking in Asia also can never be full speed if China isn’t running.” 

He noted that despite foreign direct investment into the country falling last year, it should be viewed in the broader context of FDI growing for the last 50 years. “Every market will take its pause,” Leenart said.

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The executive said he sees a lot of opportunity in China. “I think that [the Chinese] have a lot to sell to the world, and that product will be needed all over the world.” 

The world’s second largest economy will grow 5.2% in 2024, according to Zhu Haibin, chief China economist at JPMorgan. That estimate is an upward revision from his previous projection of 4.9% growth.

The economist announced his updated figure during the Shanghai summit, noting that the country’s robust 5.3% year-on-year economic growth in the first quarter of 2024 had surpassed market expectations and marked a strong beginning for the year.

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon told Sky News this month that he favors full engagement with China, adding that while it is a fierce competitor, it is “not an enemy” of the Western world.


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