China is set to return to the heyday of double-digit gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2014, driven by a revival in global demand that will ignite the country's export engine, according to an investment strategist.
"I'm looking for 10 percent by the end of the year from China - they will be surprising a lot of people. With the U.S. dollar going up, look for exports out of China to start picking up," Jack Bouroudjian, chief investment officer at Index Financial Partners told CNBC Asia's "Squawk Box" on Friday.
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The world's second-largest economy last saw double-digit growth rates in the second quarter of 2010, when it grew at a rate of 10.3 percent. For 2013, the economy is expected to post growth of 7.6 percent, according to a Reuters poll, a touch above the government's target of 7.5 percent.
"Pay attention to what's going on around China because I have a feeling that is one of the things that's really going to drive the double-digit-growth," he said, citing increased demand out of neighboring Japan as its economy strengthens.
However, the country's recent economic indicators, such as the final HSBC manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for December, have suggested unsteady external demand.
A sub-index measuring new export orders fell to a four-month low of 49.1, the first time since August that it dropped below 50 points. Meanwhile, the official PMI showed new export orders contracting for the first time since July.
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Several China watchers also disagreed with Bouroudjian's bullish outlook, arguing that the government's clamp down on rampant credit growth would constrain rapid economic expansion.
"Just looking at the [local debt] audit outcome that we had a couple of days ago, if there's anything, they want to bring credit growth down to much lower and sustainable levels," said Hartmut Issel, head of wealth management research, UBS Singapore.
"That in itself speaks very clearly against the 10 percent," he added.
China's National Audit Office reported this week that local government debt had increased 67 percent from the end of 2010 to reach 17.9 trillion renminbi ($2.95 trillion) by the end of June. The report highlighted concerns over the country's credit addiction at a time when it's struggling to sustain economic growth.
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Vasu Menon, vice president, wealth management, Singapore, OCBC Bank added Beijing's push to rebalance the economy away from being investment-driven to consumption-led, will also limit growth.
"The Chinese government is trying to reform the economy. That is going to take time, it requires adjustment. If you have heady growth of 10 percent, then you have higher property prices and a lot other problems," he said.
—By CNBC's Ansuya Harjani; Follow her on Twitter @Ansuya_H