China's painful but necessary pivot from property as growth driver

With Evergrande an early casualty, what lies ahead is a necessary transition to an economy driven by genuine growth from technological advancement, innovation and productivity

As the meltdown of China's second-largest property developer Evergrande plays out in what feels like slow motion, another, broader situation is at play too - the country's painful but essential transition from property as a key driver of growth.

The government is doing all it can to ringfence the debt-ridden Evergrande to prevent contagion in the real estate sector. And while it is unlikely to bail Evergrande out directly, it will make sure small players like construction workers, home buyers, small suppliers and contractors are protected in order to prevent social instability.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 14, 2021, with the headline 'China's painful but necessary pivot from property as growth driver'. Subscribe