Chapter 9: Growth, structural transformation, and the new global agenda: what this means for China and the world
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This chapter focuses on the critical role China will play in determining whether many economies follow a green growth pathway or one producing fragile carbon-intensive growth. The authors highlight that partly through structural transformations needed at domestic level and through major international infrastructure and trade initiatives, such as the Belt and Road Initiative, China will stimulate the potential for growth and structural transformation in numerous other economies, particularly in Asia and Africa. However, the authors stress that the selection of projects is crucial as many may involve the development of major coal extraction and distribution infrastructure, leaving these economies vulnerable to high-carbon assets. Alternatively, investments could be made in developing greener, more sustainable energy infrastructure. Although these links with China will be important, they will not be sufficient to ensure inclusive, sustainable development, and carefully crafted national policies, associated with further infrastructure investment and tax reforms, will be needed for these economies. Thus, China’s initiatives and transformations are creating a critical juncture, in which these economies can leap onto a new greener growth pathway, but they will need to seize the opportunity or risk sliding back into unsustainable types of growth.

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