Event Details

The Economist Intelligence Unit has just upgraded our growth forecast for China to 1.7% this year, up from 1.4% at the height of the Covid19 crisis. Despite escalating trade tensions between the US and China, the rebound has been driven in part by a strong bounce in export growth from both the US and other markets as all those home workers order computer equipment.

China's ongoing drive to prepare for a digital future with infrastructure spending could prompt the EIU to upgrade our forecast China forecast again before the end of the year, despite the fact that we are very bearish on the global economy and only expect a recovery to pre-Covid growth levels by 2022.

The ongoing pandemic and growing China-US tensions, makes for an extremely challenging operating environment; one that is nicely summarised by a phrase recently coined by The Economist: "the 90% economy".

More than ever, business leaders need reliable, timely information and strong networks to support their difficult decision making. We believe that in-person networking remains a vital part of what we do, but will limit numbers in the room for breakfast to 48 and also offer a live-streaming option.

So at this critical juncture for the global economy, we invite you to join us and our panel of economists and business leaders for our Regional Strategic Forecast as we discuss:

  • The outlook for the global economy and regional highlights for 2021 and beyond.
  • What factors will determine how well different economies will do in the recovery, and where might some opportunities lie
  • Dealing with debt - at an individual, corporate and sovereign level.
  • Our predictions for currencies, trade, supply chains and jobs
  • The key risks beyond Covid19, how they might play out, and what they mean for our region.
  • The impact of the low oil-price environment and shifting commodity prices on global and regional growth.
  • Tomorrow's big questions: what next for civil liberties, globalisation and capitalism?


8:45 AM - 10 AM
Keynote speaker presentation and Q&A
10 AM - 10:20 AM
Coffee break
10:20 AM - 11:20 AM
Panel discussion and Q&A on the Chinese economy, moderated by Dr Qian Liu
11:20 AM - 11:30 AM


  • Dr Simon Baptist (Global Chief Economist & Editorial Director of The Economist Intelligence Unit)

    Dr Simon Baptist

    Global Chief Economist & Editorial Director of The Economist Intelligence Unit

    Simon Baptist is Editorial Director and Chief Economist at The Economist Intelligence Unit. Prior to his current role, he has held a number of other senior management and editorial positions in the business, including Managing Director for Asia, Regional Director of our Asia editorial team, Director of Global Forecasting, and Consulting Director in both Europe and Asia

    Simon’s focus is on the global economy, national and international political developments, and public policy. He engages with business, government and international organisations, helping them to understand the operational and strategic implications of the EIU’s forecasts.

    He has a doctorate in economics from and was a lecturer at Oxford University, along with degrees in economics and science from the University of Tasmania. His academic research investigated technology and the determinants of productivity in manufacturing firms.

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  • Dr. Louise Qian Liu (Managing Director, Greater China, Economist Group)

    Dr. Louise Qian Liu

    Managing Director, Greater China, Economist Group

    Qian is an influential economist and business executive. As Managing Director of The Economist Group in Greater China, she has deep knowledge of the Chinese economy, understands both China and the West very well, with exceptional ability to bridge the two. She publishes in highly regarded academic journals and business outlets, and is frequently interviewed by BBC, CNBC, NPR etc. She is also a prominent advocate for gender equality in China, and introduces cutting edge global economic research on gender, and promotes intelligent public debates reaching millions of people. Young Global Leader, World Economic Forum. Member of Global Future Council on China. Steering Committee member for World Economic Forum's Value in Media. Outstanding Women Award, China. Qian earned her PhD in economics from Uppsala University, Sweden, and was previously a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley, and received executive training from Stanford University.

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  • Vivi Hou (President and CEO of Power Pacific Corporation Limited)

    Vivi Hou

    President and CEO of Power Pacific Corporation Limited

    Ms. Vivi Hou is the President and CEO of Power Pacific Corporation Ltd, a wholly owned Hong Kong subsidiary of Power Corporation of Canada (Power). Power is a diversified international management and holding company with interests in financial services, asset anagement, sustainable and renewable energy and other business sectors in North America, Europe and Asia. Power is listed among Fortune’s top global 500 companies. Ms. Hou is based in Beijing and oversees Power’s portfolio in PRC, comprising direct proprietary investments (China AMC); investments in listed securities through the QFII (Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor) program; and VC unds. Ms. Hou is also director of Power Pacific Investment Management (“PPIM”), a Canadian corporation that has registered with securities regulators in Ontario and Quebec in Canada as a portfolio manager and investment fund manager.

    Ms. Hou’s international career in finance services has spanned more than a decade in both Canada and Greater China. She started her career as a member of the Investment Team for Investors Group – Power Corporation of Canada’s mutual fund business.

    Prior to joining the Power Group in 2020, she served as member of Harvest Global Investment (HGI’s) Global Management Committee, Chief Business Development Officer and Head of China Strategy. Prior to that, she headed CSOP Asset Management’s Business Development and Private Equity businesses where she had responsibility for the management of the firm’s portfolio across multi-asset classes, market sectors and styles.

    Ms. Hou earned a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of lberta. She is a member of the Power Pacific Investment anagement Committee. Ms. Hou is also a board member of the China Canada Business Council (CCBC), devoting her effort in building Sino-Canadian relations.

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  • Gunther Hamm (Managing Director of Consumer/Tech Investments; Co-COO at Hope Investments)

    Gunther Hamm

    Managing Director of Consumer/Tech Investments; Co-COO at Hope Investments

    Gunther HAMM is a China-based private equity professional with close to twenty years investing experience in China and the US/EU. At HOPU, he co-leads an investment team with primary responsibility for investments in the Consumer and Tech sectors, and portfolio companies including Sensetime, Ceva and Trax. In addition, he serves as Co-COO of the HOPU platform.

    Prior to HOPU, Mr. Hamm held similar investing positions at Hillhouse Capital and CDH Investments. He began his career at JPMorgan Consumer investment banking in New York. Mr. Hamm earned his undergraduate degree at Dartmouth College, and also studied at Tsinghua University. He and his family have been based in Beijing since 2007.

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  • Dr Kevin Kang (Chief Economist at KPMG China)

    Dr Kevin Kang

    Chief Economist at KPMG China

    Dr. Kevin Kang is the Chief Economist of KPMG China and his research covers a broad range of economic issues. He has over 20 years of research experience in economic growth, policy analysis, business strategy, innovation, and cross-border investment and M&As. He is also an expert on emerging technologies such as the digital economy, AI, fintech, data governance, and Industry 4.0, and analyses how technologies are impacting economic growth and reshaping the business environment. He frequently speaks to companies’ senior executives and helps them stay on top of the rapidly changing macro environment.

    Prior to joining KPMG, Dr. Kang was the Chief Economist for Asia Pacific at Caterpillar, the world’s largest construction and mining equipment manufacturer. He was responsible for Caterpillar’s economic research and industry forecast for the Asia Pacific region. Before Caterpillar, he also worked as a senior economist at Eaton Corporation, a $20 billion diversified industrial company headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio. He was in charge of its Asia Pacific economic research and the worldwide vehicle industry forecast. He also worked as an economist at the RAND Corporation, a world-renowned think tank in Santa Monica, CA, and as a chief researcher at Samsung Economic Research Institute (SERI) in China.

    Dr. Kang received his Ph.D. in economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and B.A. in international economics from the Peking University. He is frequently interviewed by major media outlets and invited to speak at business conferences to share his economic insight.

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  • Tom Rafferty (Regional Director, Asia of The Economist Intelligence Unit)

    Tom Rafferty

    Regional Director, Asia of The Economist Intelligence Unit

    Tom is Regional Director, Asia at The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). He is an expert on politics and economics in Asia, with specific interests in regional geopolitics, public policy and China’s political economy. Tom is a frequent commentator in the international media, talks regularly at conferences and events, and has published on a range of subjects in relation to Asia and China. His experience and deep knowledge help organisations and businesses make sense of the rapid changes in the region. As Regional Director, Tom leads a team of analysts based across the Asia. He is responsible for ensuring the EIU’s analysis and forecasts for countries in the region are as accurate and insightful as they can be for clients, and delivered in a timely and accessible way. Tom is based in Beijing, where he has lived and worked for the best part of a decade. He joined the EIU in 2011 and prior to his current role was Principal Economist, China. Tom holds an MPhil in International Relations and a BA in Modern History, both from the University of Oxford. His work experience outside the EIU includes a spell as a researcher in the UK Parliament, where he worked on the UK-China relationship, and roles with the China-Britain Business Council, Oxford Analytica and the Foreign Policy Centre. Tom also studied Chinese at Peking University and held a research fellowship at its Institute of International and Strategic Studies, funded by the MacArthur Foundation.

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