Morgan Stanley Asia head Stephen Roach says investors should get real about emerging markets.
"There's a romance about the BRICs, or Asia, or China itself picking up effortlessly from the tired and over-burdened American consumer," Roach told Newsweek.
"All of this is premature. The basic premise of 'The Next Asia' is that there's still a lot of work to be done."
Roach describes the financial crisis as a “real wake-up call” for the entire Asian export led growth model” adding that “if the U.S. consumer is in the early stages of a long-term pullback, as I suspect, then Asia has big problems.”
Employment is key in any economy, Roach notes, and employment in China was hit very hard this year due to the export crash in Guangdong province that cost 20 million migrant workers their jobs.
“While I’m not one of the people who believe there is major political risk in China at the moment, there could be problems longer term if growth slows,” he says.
Roach believes China will keep its momentum through the first half of 2010, if the U.S. economy continues to be weak, China’s export lag will grow and its government will launch a major stimulus with big infrastructure projects and much lending.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao says China’s economic stimulation will remain unchanged, Xinhua News reports.
"The macro-economic policy and measures that China adopted in response to the international financial crisis have been proved inconformity with reality, prompt, forceful and effective," Wen said.
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