IIDS successfully conducted a Special Lecture on China’s Impressive Economic Rise: Lesson for Nepal in its Development Efforts and Poverty Reduction on November 6, 2015 at Hotel Annapurna. The lecture was the second in the series of distinguished lectures that IIDS has been holding annually since last year. The lecture was delivered by Professor Xiaobo Zhang, Distinguished Professor of Economics at the National School of Development, Peking University and Senior Research Fellow in the Development Strategy and Governance Division of International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). The main purpose of this lecture was to share the economic growth experience of China and learn relevant lessons for poverty reduction and development in Nepal. Prof. Zhang highlighted that China’s development trajectory has been guided by a series of gradual reforms that focused on transforming from central planning to a more market-based and equitable economy. He stressed that successful reform strategies help to enlarge the choice sets, reduce the perceived risks and improve the understanding of potential payoffs of different policy options, and emphasized that reforms are ways to break the existing less desirable equilibrium among different stakeholders and move up to a more favorable one. He highlighted that China’s central government progressively introduced policies building on past reforms and continuously capitalizing on China’s changing comparative advantage rather than immediately implementing all the reforms or following universal prescriptions under one ideological path. The local elites were the main players who had entrenched interests in developing local economy of China. With regard to Nepal, he said that Nepal had huge potential and its own comparative advantages like natural beauty, hard-working people and relatively lower wages. He emphasized that local people have more sound knowledge about problems they face and are more likely to figure out indigenous solutions to the binding constraints. He also highlighted that Nepal can benefit from China by building infrastructure taking advantage of low international prices in raw materials and excess construction capacity available in China. Nepal has the potential to be a popular destination for Chinese and Indian tourists. He emphasized that Nepal needs to invest on basic infrastructure without which it would be difficult for a country to attract FDIs which can increase local jobs.
IIDS is committed to continue this lecture series in coming days too.