LONDON, Dec. 28 -- The pace of Chinese economic reform would surprise people, and it will be faster than commonly expected, said Blu Putnam, Chief Economist at Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Group, in London.
China appears to be choosing to accelerate its reforms and increase the pace of economic liberalization with more market-based initiatives, said Putnam in a recent interview with Xinhua.
"China managed its deceleration and transition to new leadership very well. We will be going to see a lot of market-oriented reform, more investments are allowed to the markets, particularly the futures markets, more Chinese investors have better linkage with the global markets, and a faster normalization of currency," said Putnam.
A transition is under way to shift toward a more domestic demand-driven growth model. That transition is only likely to go well if greater price flexibility is provided to consumers and companies to improve the price discovery process and allow for more efficient allocation of resources and capital, said CME Group in its latest global economic outlook report.
CME Group forecasts that the average growth rate in the second 10 yeas of this century would be 6.5 percent, slower than the 10.5 percent in the first 10 years.
"This is a natural slowing process, but it is still a growth rate that any of the mature industrialized countries were chasing for," said Putnam.
A faster pace of RMB (the Chinese yuan) normalization and an opening of markets to more international linkages now seems increasingly likely, in the context of economic model transition, analyses Putnam.
"The movement of the currency over the seven or eight years has appropriately balanced the pressure of demand and supply. So if the currency were totally free to trade it would probably stay around where it is now," said Putnam.
"The RMB will become a major global currency, that is widely used in trade, but capital flows is much more important than the trade flows, in terms of how the currency is accepted globally. The capital flows will change over the next couple of decades, so the next decade is when the RMB we see where it will take its position in the world currencies."
When talking about the opportunities for international financial companies like CME Group, the chief economist said: "The opportunity to CME is really a partnership. We've been very active over the last 20 years, becoming one of the partners with different futures exchanges in China. These markets will interact with markets all over the world, that interaction will be very exciting to the futures markets and derivatives markets around the world."
Taking oil futures market as an instance, Putnam said, China has been a very large purchaser of oil, but its impact on oil prices is very muted now. When China develops its own futures market, it will have more impact.