Sheng, who holds numerous prestigious advisory positions locally and abroad, elaborated on some common thoughts by experts writing on the Asian crisis. He also provided a glimpse into the Asian economic scenario in the 80s and 90s, with particular attention to the Japanese economy which led to the infamous financial crisis that plagued countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Korea, and Malaysia.
It was interesting to note that back in 1990 and 1995, the size of Japan’s economy was relatively bigger than the size of all the other Asian economies put together. Sheng predicted that by 2010, China would overtake Japan in terms of gross domestic product.
He also touched on some of the common mistakes committed by Asian economies, highlighting their biggest blunder as underestimating the impact of capital flows. He also gave examples of mistakes by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), calling them the Washington Consensus Mistakes.
The thoroughly informative and at times entertaining lecture was well-received by the audience. It culminated in a Q&A session moderated by Dato’ Lee Kah Choon, Director and Chairman of the Executive Committee of investPenang and Director of Penang Development Corporation.
Sheng is the Chief Advisor to the China Banking Regulatory Commission and expert member of the National Economic Advisory Council of Malaysia. He is also adjunct professor at Universiti Malaya and Tsinghua University in China. He previously served as Chief Economist in Bank Negara.