Whether China is able to have a voice commensurate with its own strength in the new global economic and financial division of labor or not will depend not only on the rise and fall of China and other major economies, but also on its ability to educate a large number of strategic talents of economics, finance and management, who understand international economic, trade and financial rules, know how to harness tools of global economic management, and have strong cross-cultural communication skills to voice China’s opinions.
Since the reform and opening up, a large supply of cheap labor has contributed greatly to the sustained rapid growth of Chinese economy. It’s the emergence of the “Lewis Turning Point” that indicates China is about to usher in a difficult period of economic slowdown. The traditional development model that mainly relied on capital investment and low-cost human resources to drive economic growth is no longer sustainable. It is hard to imagine that China, the world’s second largest economy, could be long stuck in the dilemma of low wages, low welfare and low end of value chain. Therefore, if China wants to keep its competitive edge over the countries and regions of cheaper labor, and catch up with the developed industrialized countries in the high-end value chain, we must increase investment in human capital, promote the rational flow of labor elements and increase labor productivity.
Currently, the strategy of strengthening our country by cultivating talents has become a core national strategy. Cultivating strategic talents in economics, trade and finance is not only a choice to implement the transformation of economic development, but also the foundation upon which China develops its economic and financial power by the mid-21st century.
Since finance is the core of modern market economy, China should have economic and financial strength to match its national power and development potential in the process of becoming a first-class economy. Building a strong capital market, a world-class banking and insurance system, international financial centers comparable to New York and London and an international standard currency should be the strategic goals that China strives for in the next two decades. Judging from the current global financial competition and industrial shifts, it is now an unprecedented opportunity for China to strengthen its economic and financial competitiveness and narrow the gap between its economic and financial development and that of the United States, Europe and Japan.
School of Economics and Finance is one of the oldest and largest multi-disciplinary schools in Shanghai International Studies University. The School has long been committed to cultivating multidisciplinary talents of economics, finance and management for China’s economic development. Upholding the motto of “Integrity, Vision and Academic Excellence”, all the faculty and staff of SEF will exert ourselves to promote China’s education reform and innovation in the fields of economics and management.
Prof. Zhang Yugui
Dean of School of Economics and Finance