IIAC Blog

February 8, 2016

China’s Economic Turmoil Sends Ripples to Global Markets (IIAC Blog)

Ian Russell photo - February 2014

Ian Russell

President's Letter

At the invitation of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), I led the Canadian delegation of 80 professionals to the 2016 Asian Financial Forum (AFF) in Hong Kong in January. The Forum attracted more than 2,600 participants from 39 countries and regions.

Not surprising, much of the conversation centred on China. The country’s challenges have been debated for years, but in recent months have been thrust into the international spotlight. There are increasing worries that Chinese authorities, in their attempt to implement difficult reforms while preserving demand and financial stability, may set off a chain reaction that hurts other economies and global financial markets. Moreover, the lack of transparency—opaque policy making and confusing announcements—have exacerbated uncertainty in the minds of global investors. China’s unexpected devaluation of the renminbi, which sent shockwaves through financial markets, is a case in point. Finally, the country’s sheer scale in commodities trading means that China will continue to shape commodity prices for years to come.

So what does this mean for Canada? Read my February 2016 Letter from the President to find out.