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Goldman Saches: SARS' Impact on China Is Temporary
2004/05/22

  

       Sun Bae Kim, general manager of the Asian-Pacific Economic Research Institute of Goldman Saches, recently disclosed Goldman Saches' prediction that the impact of SARS on China would be temporary and might last for around three months, but not for a long time as some people estimated.

       A latest report presented by Goldman Saches noted that although China had cut the growth rate of its GDP from a projected 7.5 percent to 7 percent, it remained optimistic about China's economy and believed that China's economy would maintain steady and rapid development.

       Sun Bae Kim presented the following two reasons for the optimistic prediction made by Goldman Saches:

       First, the fact that SARS has been put under effective control in Hong Kong suggests that it will not take a long time for the mainland to curb the epidemic. It took Hong Kong a bit more than a month to reduce the number of SARS cases to a one-digit figure after the outbreak of the epidemic in March. The number of SARS cases in southern China has already plummeted significantly. At present, the life and work in Hong Kong have returned to normal, and the operation of local hotels, markets and public traffic has been revived. The Chinese Government has attached great importance to controlling the disease and adopted many effective measures. This indicates that SARS will be put under control on China's mainland in a relatively short period of time.

       Second, the Yangtze River Delta, the main destination of foreign investment in China, is little affected by SARS. China lacks first-rate medical equipment. But this will not impede China from controlling the spread of SARS. Viet Nam has become the first country to successfully control SARS as announced by the World Health Organization. Viet Nam's medical equipment is not necessarily better than that of China. SARS mainly affects China's service and tourism sectors. These sectors, however, account for only a small proportion of the Chinese economy (3-5 percent of the GDP).

       Sun Bae Kim said although the risks brought about by SARS should not be ignored, overreaction to the disease is unnecessary.




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