Finance Minister of the Year 2008: Xie Xuren, China
China’s finance minister has had a difficult first 12 months in charge, but has succeeded in maintaining the country’s economic momentum.
Xie Xuren, China
Xie keeps the China fires burning
XIE XUREN, CHINA’S minister of finance, took office in September 2007 when he replaced Jin Renqing. The 12 months that followed were extraordinary even by the high standards of newsworthiness that China has set in recent years, bringing a devastating earthquake and the spectacle of the Olympics. Behind these headline-grabbing incidents, though, another amazing China story continued: despite rising commodity prices, global financial turmoil and widespread fears over inflation and consumer spending slowdown, China’s growth continued at a rate of 10%. The year saw the country’s policymakers address the complex task of maintaining double-digit growth while managing difficult global environment and keeping inflation under control, and it is for their overall success in this field that Xie, the public face of China’s economic policymaking, wins the award.
It was a busy first year in office for the 60-year-old Xie, who was born in Ningbo city in the Zhejiang province of eastern China and served in various provincial administrative roles before joining the ministry of finance in 1990.