On 1 October 1949 Mao Zedong took to the stage on Tiananmen Square in Beijing and declared the creation of the People’s Republic of China, marking the start of the one party state that we still know today. In the last 70 years, China has seen enormous change and has risen on the world stage from an agricultural economy closed off from the world, to a global superpower. China’s transformation, under the close supervision of the Communist Party of China, has been spectacular.
Such a rapid pace of development and economic change has also brought environmental and social consequences. We first explored this in an Amity Insight on China back in 2009. Then we asked the question whether it was possible to invest responsibly in China. That question is still relevant today and probably even more pressing than when we released our first publication. As China’s role in the global economy continues to grow, it means companies worldwide are almost certain to have some relation with China, either through direct operations, vast supply chains or when they are trying to sell into the growing Chinese market of over a billion consumers. This means global investment portfolios will have direct or indirect exposure to China too, and for responsible investors this raises several challenges.
Global investment portfolios will have direct or indirect exposure to China, and for responsible investors this raises several challenges
In this Insight we will explore China’s transformation and its place in the world, as well as the environmental, social and governance issues responsible investors should be aware of. We will also summarise EdenTree’s views and how we ensure we invest responsibly and sustainably in a world where China is at the heart of 21st century capitalism and geopolitical debates.