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According to many, the Chinese economy is stuttering and yet I am particularly excited about the prospects for 2024.

It’s not that I am a contrarian. It’s because the 2024 outlook has eight factors in its favour that make China both an attractive investment destination and an excellent trading environment when it comes to financial markets.

Australia’s prosperity depends on the Chinese economy and it’s this demand that helps drive the Northern Territory economy. It’s important to understand what is happening with our largest trading partner.

I join investment master Warren Buffet when I consider the first reason for an optimistic outlook for China in 2024. One of his maxims says that “price is what we pay and value is what you get”. This underpins his philosophy of buying good companies at favourable prices. It’s the perfect approach for China with so many good companies oversold in this extended bear market.

Some of these oversold companies are global leaders in their fields and they will stand the test of time. Others are well-established and reliable suppliers of consumer and industry essentials that do not rely on discretionary spending. Haier is one example and their reliable washing machines sit in many Northern Territory households. Others are emerging companies with business-changing products or services but which in this bearish environment, cannot attract market support.

Good companies at favourable prices – China has many of these and in 2024 investors wait for evidence of the inevitable market recovery

The second reason for excitement about China is the massive pile of household savings. This is a record of around RMB 135 trillion in household bank accounts in 2023. Unlocking these savings will drive domestic consumer demand. It’s a key part of the Dual Circulation policy, which is designed to re-orientate the Chinese economy and reduce its dependency on traditional export markets.

Central Government policy initiatives are designed to encourage consumer spending and business growth. Already we see an increase in discretionary spending on tourism and entertainment. Meituan reported average daily consumer spending on their online platforms jumped 36 percent year on year and exceeded pre-covid levels seen in 2019.

The third factor is technological advances and the growth of the digital economy, including the development of 6G applications that drive the Internet of Things.

These are digital developments that enhance productivity and help China escape the middle income trap. They are developments in environmental and weather monitoring that increase agricultural productivity. The NT could have a role in these developments, and in the adoption of these tools to manage pastoral rangelands. These are the foundations of a truly digital economy that boosts economic efficiency.

There are foundation opportunities to catch the next TenCent, or Amazon, as well as trading opportunities among these companies as they list on the stock exchange.

This leads to the fourth factor, which is of particular interest to financial traders. The China financial markets offer many out-size short-term trading opportunities with two-week returns of 58 percent and five-day returns of 27 percent not uncommon.

The fifth of these reasons for optimism is the expansion of the Exchange


Traded Fund environment. Investors are seeing a widening of ETF offerings and this allows them to take calculated and calibrated positions on the market that are aligned with their views.

The sixth factor is dear to my heart. The China market is particularly compatible with technical and chart analysis methods. As the market recovers, these techniques and trading methods will yield good results and the number of opportunities will expand.

The seventh reason for enthusiasm about the China market is the continued expansion of the Belt and Road Initiative, including investment developments and international expansion by Chinese companies.

Up until about 2015-17, China’s exports went primarily to developed markets. The Dual Circulation policy was designed to reduce China’s reliance on exports, but it was also designed, along with the BRI, to develop new export markets. In 2023, China’s exports to the Global South exceeded exports to developed markets by nearly 20 percent.

In the 21st century, mobile broadband embedded in the digital economy turns marginalised people in the Global South into actors in the global economy, both as consumers and sellers. This growth opens new market segments for NT companies because the development of the digital economy and all the apps and services associated with it provide many new investment and business opportunities.

The eighth and final reason for my excitement is the technical advances in China, and in particular the advances in green energy and solar development. China added more solar panels in 2023 than the US did in its entire history. China’s cumulative installed capacity of wind and solar energy is expected to surpass coal for the first time in 2024, according to the China Electricity Council.

China installs more solar PV in a month than most countries do in a year, and investment in low-carbon generation continues to grow at a staggering rate. New Northern Territory mining projects will benefit from this demand for the materials that underpin solar panels and turbines.

Tapping into these advanced green skills and service experience can deliver significant advantages to the Territory and to remote communities. There are great opportunities for co-operative development and investment. These eight factors give good grounds for excitement about the Chinese economy and opportunities in 2024.