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Total focus on China’s economy

During her visit to Uppsala, Louise Liu gave a lecture on the financial situation in China

These are turbulent times on the Chinese stock market, with shares down and a currency war. Louise Liu follows the development up close as a financial analyst at The Economist’s office in Beijing. When she has time she loves to visit Uppsala, where she earned her postgraduate degree.

“This is my second home,” says Louise Liu with emphasis when I meet her during a visit to Uppsala. She spent a full five years here as a doctoral student and completed her doctorate in 2009. Then she returned to China with a job as a financial analyst in Beijing at a sister company of the weekly magazine The Economist.

The last few years have been busy for her. The eyes of the world are on China’s economy, and business has expanded in recent years. Today, Louise Liu and her colleagues monitor 31 different provinces and 287 cities in China. Recently she became Managing Director of The Economist Group, China and Taiwan.

“In recent years, we’ve become increasingly interested in China’s foreign investments. We believe that in only two years, more money from China will be invested in the rest of the world than in China. It’s a power shift that is changing China’s global status,” says Louise Liu.

During her visit to Uppsala, she took the chance to meet up with her old classmates in Uppsala and Stockholm and gave a lecture on the financial situation in China. It is clear that Uppsala is close to her heart.

Do you have any special memories from your time as a student?

“Tons; what should I start with? Ramlösa – I love Ramlösa. I miss princess cake and buying blueberries, raspberries and mushrooms at the market square in autumn. And I miss the silence in Uppsala. Something about the sense of calm here inspires you to ask deep questions like, ‘Who am I?’ and ‘What is the meaning of life?’”

She also remembers that she got a lot of support and help from her teachers, both when it came to applying for research funding and obtaining data. “I didn’t have to teach very much or worry about administrative issues. All they wanted was for me to think, come up with ideas and write good articles. That’s a really good platform for research students.”

Her research was largely on Swedish education, the labour market and gender issues. Her focus has now shifted to the Chinese economy, with an emphasis on the real estate market and foreign investments, and she works at a completely different pace. When she began as a financial analyst in 2008, the financial crisis in China had just begun. “It was a very different time and things happened in rapid succession. The global stock market crashes, China’s real estate market, urbanisation, foreign investments – it all continues to be very eventful,” says Louise Liu with a big smile.

27 April 2016