Deutsche Bank economist Ma Jun is joining the People's Bank of China to get involved in economic changes that he expects will be "very aggressive". Ma, 50, will be chief economist with the central bank's research bureau, ending a 13-year stint with Deutsche Bank, according to a message from Ma to clients this week and an internal memorandum at the bank. "It is a great opportunity for me to be more involved in the next phase of [the mainland's] economic reform, which I expect to be very aggressive," Ma said in an e-mail response to questions about the move. Mainland officials face the challenge of shifting to a more market-driven economic system just as growth is slowing and risks mount from a credit boom. After widening the trading band for the yuan, the central bank's next steps are scheduled to include freeing up constraints on deposit rates. In a survey in January, Ma forecast 8.6 per cent economic growth for the nation this year, the highest estimate of 50 economists. Deutsche's projection later fell to 7.8 per cent. The PBOC last year played "the critical role" in China's most fruitful year of financial reforms, including abolishing controls on lending rates and relaxing constraints on cross-border yuan movements, Ma said in a note in January. "China's overall macro condition today is one of the best in history," he said then, citing "modest" inflation along with what was a steady pickup in growth. Ma worked as an economist at the International Monetary Fund and World Bank from 1992 to 2000, according to Deutsche. From 1988 to 1990, he was a research fellow at the state Development Research Centre.