The potential liberalization of the Chinese monetary system and the impact on South Africa

Van der Waal, Cornelis (2005-12)

Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2005.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: China has experienced phenomenal economic growth over the past 20 years and has developed from a pure socialist economy into a market driven economy_ However the transfonnation process is not yet complete. China has a pegged currency system (this was the case up until 2110712005) that is coupled to the US dollar. The result of this was that their currency fluctuated much less than other developing country currencies and hence became a very attractive investment destination. In addition to this labour in China is very cheap and access to economies of scale is available. But despite the many positive aspects of the Chinese economy there are also a number of elements that have very negative consequences for the economy and need to be addressed if China wishes to create prosperity for all its citizens. The value of the yuan has been a topic of great contention, and there are very different opinions as to what the currency value should be. After careful consideration of the various options available to China it was assessed that it would be highly detrimental for China to suddenly free float its currency. However it is essential for China to gradually liberate their monetary system so as to create more monetary autonomy. To ensure that liberalization is done in an orderly and non~djsruptjve way, it is important that China refonns other aspects of its economy (such as its banking system, its unprofitable state owned enterprises, its need for energy, income inequality, the protection of intellectual property, its legal system, worker rights and growing unemployment). South Africa, as an emerging economy, also faces a number of challenges to create more opportunities for its people (of whom many are still living in poverty). Obstacles to economic growth include the effects of HN and AIDS, low productivity, discrepancy between the available and the needed skills, unemployment, crime and so forth. A number of positive aspects also exist that need to be harnessed more creatively to ensure that South Africans reap the rewards of sustained economic development. However, it is important that all the people in the economy (i.e. government, business, communities and NGOs) work together to create a positive business environment.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: China het indrukwekkende ekonomiese groei oor die afgelope 20 jaar ervaar en het ontwikkel van 'n sosiale ekonomie tot 'n markgedrewe ekonomie. Die transforrnasie proses is egter nog nie voltooi nie. China het 'n gekoppelde geldeenheid (dit was die geval tot en met 21107/2005) wat aan die Amerikaanse dollar gekoppel was. Die resultaat was dat hulle geldeenheid minder gefluktueer het as ander ontwikkelende ekonomiee, en China het dus 'n gesogte beleggingsoord geword. Daarmee saam is die koste van arbeid in China baie goedkoop en kan daar van skaalvoordele gebruik gemaak word. Maar ten spyte van die positiewe aspekte. is daar ook 'n aantal elemente wat baie negatiewe gevolge vir die ekonomie inhou en wat aangespreek moet word as China voorspoed vir al sy landsburgers wil verseker. Die waarde van die Chinese yuan is die afgelope paar jaar 'n onderwerp van omstredenheid gewees wat baie verskillende opinies oor die werklike waarde van die eenheid tot gevolg gehad het. Na die oorweging van die verskeie opsies wat beskikbaar is vir China, is bevind dat 'n skielike vrystelling van die yuan baie negatiewe effekte op die ekonomie sal hê. Maar dit is belangrik dat China weI hul geldeenheid geleidelik liberaliseer sodat die regering meer outonomiteit kan hê (in terme van monetere besluitneming). Om te verseker dat die liberalisering op 'n ordelike en nie-ontwrigtende manier sal plaasvind nie, is dit belangrik dat daar ook liberalisering plaasvind in ander areas van die ekonomie (soos die bankstelsel, die nie-winsgewende staatsbeheerde besighede, die gebruik van energie, inkomste ongelykheid, die beskenning van intellektuele eiendom, die regstelsel, werkersregte en die groeiende werkloosheid). Suid-Afrika, as 'n ontluikende ekonomie, het ook 'n aantal uitdagings wat oorkorn moet word indien volhoubare ekonomiese groei behaal wil word. Hindemisse tot ekonomiese groei sluit in MIV en VIGS, lae produktiwiteit, die wanverhouding tussen benodigde en beskikbare vaardighede, werkloosheid, misdaad en ander sosiale probleme. Daarteenoor is daar wel baie positiewe aspekte wat meer effektief benut moet word om groei te dryf. Dit is ook baie belangrik dat al die kernpelers in die ekonomie hul kant bring (dus die regering, georganiseerde besigheid, werkers, werkloses en gemeenskapsorganisasies).

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