Brett Heimburger spoke to students about China’s economic growth and its future place in the world. Randy Nielson/UVU Review

Concerns and implications over China’s rapid industrial growth were addressed Tuesday, Sept. 14, during a presentation on China’s future economic place in the world.

Brett Heimburger, director of Asia from the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development, began by stressing the magnitude of China’s growth to students.

“China’s growth is so significant it does not matter what job you decide to pursue,” Heimburger said. “It doesn’t matter whether you never decide to travel abroad or not, because even if you don’t go to China, in many respects China will come to you.”

Heimburger delved into the history of China’s manufacturing market and then shifted views to China’s current key trends: the rise of the middle and upper class and their aggressive spending on health, beauty, travel and entertainment. And how American companies see growth potential in China with its huge population and low manufacturing cost.

Although China is on its way to surpassing the U.S. as the world’s largest economy, there are extreme challenges with such dramatic growth. Some of the challenges that Heimburger chose to focus on were China’s state of unemployment, poor legal environment and their escalating pollution.

“The air pollution is terrible,” Heimburger said. “For a country whose energies are going to double in the next 20 years, if you have carbon emissions that double along with that, it’s going to cause serious problems.”

Heimburger concluded by taking questions and with his vision of the U.S. establishing a competitive, but compatible relationship with China.

“I think Heimburger brought forth some realistic concerns,” said senior Derrick Meacham. “It’s becoming very real that China is a global power and that every country is looking for a niche inside China.”