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40 Years of Opening Up and Reform: The Evolution of the Business Ecosystem and Sustainable Development in China

Dec 20, 2019

How does business policy shape the business ecosystem in different stages of economic development? And what are the possible impacts of the shifting business on the different dimensions of a society? And what could each of the key stakeholders do to promote the business as a force driving for sustainable development? Since China’s Reform and Opening Up process was launched in 1978, the country has made remarkable and widely recognised achievements in economic and human development, affecting everyone at all levels - from the government, to the corporate sector, to the whole of society. As the accompanying report to the special 20th anniversary edition of China’s National Human Development Report, this report focuses on the changing realities of China’s economy and business environment. It describes the evolution of various roles that different stakeholders have played in shaping China’s current business ecosystem and their efforts to promote sustainable development. The report follows four main periods in which the last four decades are commonly divided, to describe the evolution of China’s business ecosystem and the development of concepts such as sustainability and corporate social responsibility. It also describes the various players involved in China’s sustainable business development, while offering recommendations for all stakeholders going forward.

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