BEIJING, July 17 -- Some people may panic as China's economy slows amid a belt-tightening monetary policy and economic restructuring. But Jim Rogers, an international investment guru, sees it differently.
"An economic slowdown is like a forest fire (that gets rid of the underbrush) in a forest. It's terrible at first, but then it cleans out the excesses of the current system, and everyone will be better off when the economy starts over from a sound base," said Rogers in an exclusive interview with China Daily.
"It's happening in China at the moment as the government stays tight to cool things down. But I think it's a good thing," he added.
The government said in a guideline issued on July 5 that it would continue belt-tightening and scale back the supply of funds in the market to a reasonable level to contain a debt-fueled economic boom.
The guideline came after a liquidity crunch, which triggered a dive in the stock market and pushed interbank rates to record highs, had eased. But economic concerns linger.
"The current prudent monetary policy is appropriate and effective on the whole at the moment, given that China's economic and financial conditions are stable and consumer inflation is tame," said Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the central bank, at the Lujiazui Forum in late June in Shanghai.
"The Chinese government does have a plan to stay tight to calm things down. Some people are going to suffer, and that's what's happening. But that will be good for China in the end," said Rogers.
"Even if some sectors of the Chinese economy have a hard landing and some people go bankrupt, people (doing business) in other sectors, such as agriculture, culture, pollution, etc, will not be affected at all, because these fields will enjoy great prosperity in the years to come," he added.
These fields, Rogers said, will be new sweet spots for investment in China.
He said all countries that rise have periodic setbacks along the way, but that's the way the world works.
"China is going to be the most important country in the 21st century, and eventually the largest economy in the world," he said.