Chinese Economist Li Wei Highlights Business Sentiment at Ritz Event

June 16, 2016

CKGSB Professor of Economics Li Wei completed a full media tour of London to introduce his Business Conditions Index (BCI) to a European audience, before discussing the prospects for China’s economy and its impact on global businesses to a packed crowd at London’s iconic Ritz Hotel.

With original and credible economic data on China’s economy increasingly hard to find, the CKGSB Business Conditions Index (BCI) – produced by the Case Center and Center for Economic Research, under the direction of CKGSB Professor of Economics Li Wei – is understandably gaining a lot of attention from media and industry professional alike.


In London for the European launch of the index, Prof Li had a full day of media appearances on June 8 and also took part as the keynote speaker at the China Economic Symposium at London’s iconic Ritz Hotel, the second in the series following a successful debut last year.


CKGSB Professor of Economics Li Wei (third from left) talking live on BBC Radio on June 8


The day began very early with a 5.30am appearance on BBC Radio 5 Live’s Wake Up to Money show, during which Prof Li Wei discussed China’s yuan-denominated sovereign bonds in London, three billion of which had been issued for the first time outside China that very morning and are now traded on the London Stock Exchange. Dr Li said that it was part of China’s plan to make its currency more international, but that issuing bonds overseas was only a small step towards the renminbi’s globalization.



After another appearance in Broadcasting House – this time on BBC Radio 4’s The Today Program, Prof Li Wei had a live pre-breakfast spot on CNBC (see video above), in which he talked about about business conditions and problems in China’s economy. Professor Li Wei used the BCI to illustrate that China’s overcapacity problem lies in the fact that China firms are faced with higher costs but are unable to pass on price hikes to their consumers.


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Prof Li Wei (second from right) talks to members of the media and selected guests

during a breakfast briefing session at the Ritz Hotel in London


Back at the Ritz Hotel’s Queen Elizabeth Room, Prof Li entertained more members of the media, fielding questions from reporters from Business Because, Caixin Media, Global Times, 21st Century Business Herald and others during an informative round-table session.


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Prof Li introduces his Business Conditions Index to a packed Music Room

at the Ritz Hotel in London


The main event, held in partnership with the China-Britain Business Council, then took place in the hotel’s Music Room, which was full to capacity with close to a hundred senior executives from London’s business community crowded into the room. After a welcome from CKGSB’s Chief Rep for Europe Ji Bo and a few introductory remarks from Sir Victor Blank, Chairman of CKGSB’s European Advisory Board, those present heard Prof Li discuss the latest results from his monthly survey, diagnose some current problems facing the Chinese economy and explore what impact this might have on businesses around the world.


Panelists (from L to R) Stephen Phillips, Chief Executive, CBBC; Li Wei, CKGSB Professor of Economics; Leslie Young, CKGSB Professor of Economics; and James Kynge, Emerging Markets Editor, Financial Times, enjoying a lighthearted moment during the discussion.


Prof Li then joined a panel discussion with fellow CKGSB Professor of Economics Leslie Young and Chief Executive of the China Britain Business Council (CBBC), Stephen Phillips, to further explore these issues, with superb moderation coming from James Kynge, Emerging Markets Editor at the Financial Times, who had earlier referred to Prof Li’s presentation as “one of the very best he had ever heard”. The Netherlands Council for Trade Promotion’s Chairman Jochum Haakma then brought proceedings to a close before all participants and attendees – comprised of senior executives from Barclays, HSBC, EY, Deloitte, Arup, Rio Tinto, PwC and others – enjoyed a networking lunch session.


Many of the attendees stayed to enjoy a networking lunch after the event

The CKGSB BCI is released on a monthly basis and is regularly covered by media outlets form around the world. At least 40 different outlets covered the latest release, including Yahoo, Yahoo Singapore, Morningstar, ADVFN in Germany, and India Infoline, reaching a potential global audience of more than 77 million people.



Professor Li Wei’s Business Confidence Index (BCI) is a unique index that measures the business sentiment of Chinese executives about China’s macro-economic environment. It cuts straight to the heart of the problem by asking senior executives of Chinese companies about certain aspects of their business (e.g. sales, profits, corporate financing and inventory), providing forward-looking indicators that create a true indication of the road ahead. 


To know more about the BCI, please click here.

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