In Brief

Economic reform on the agenda for China Congress

Ballooning debt, industrial over-supply, a property bubble and environmental pollution among the key issues

As China’s ruling elite prepares to meet for the first time in five years, all eyes are on whether President Xi Jinping will be proclaimed leader for life of the Communist Party.

Yet while the gathering “is about politics more than policy, investors are still trying to read the tea leaves anyway”, says CNBC.

 The 19th National Party Congress comes at a crucial time. The world’s second-largest economy has grown at breakneck pace over the past decade, but many analysts are worried about its growing debt - among other issues.

A recent report by Nomura economists suggested the week-long gathering will look to “highlight the Party’s long-term goals and key tasks for the next five years, which may stress the need to balance economic growth, structural reforms, income distribution and financial stability”.

Among the longstanding problems that need to be addressed, CNBC has highlighted excessive corporate debt in state-owned enterprises, industrial supply over-capacity, concerns about a property bubble and environmental pollution.

Many observers hope President Xi Jinping’s consolidation of power will enable him to push through much-needed structural and economic reforms to offset lower quality high-percentage GDP growth driven by government forces.

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