‘His­tor­i­cal point’ for struc­tural re­form

China Daily (USA) - - TOP NEWS - By MAZHIP­ING in Haikou mazhip­ing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Struc­tural re­form could al­low China to con­trib­ute up to 30 per­cent an­nu­ally to global eco­nomic growth in the next five years, ac­cord­ing to a top re­searcher.

Chi Fulin, pres­i­dent of the China In­sti­tute for Re­form and De­vel­op­ment, said the world’ s sec­ond-largest econ­omy is ex­ert­ing a greater in­flu­ence on global growth through its trans­for­ma­tion.

He was speak­ing on Satur­day at the open­ing cer­e­mony of the 81st In­ter­na­tional Fo­rum on China Re­form in Haikou, Hainan prov­ince, which at­tracted more than 300 re­searchers from 12 na­tions.

“Struc­tural re­form is at a his­tor­i­cal turn­ing point and needs break­throughs,” he said.

“Although ad­min­is­tra­tive mea­sures and pol­icy stim­u­lus plans have played a role in sta­bi­liz­ing eco­nomic growth, with­out struc­tural changes, stim­u­lus plans will not only strug­gle to take ef­fect, but also cre­ate hid­den dan­gers.”

He also called for mar­kets to be opened wider, es­pe­cially the ser­vices mar­ket, which is fore­cast to dou­ble in value in 2020 com­pared with the 24.3 tril­lion yuan ($3.58 tril­lion) recorded in 2012.

Fac­ing many deep-rooted struc­tural prob­lems, the big­gest task is to tap new sources of growth, Chi said, adding: “If ma­jor break­throughs can be made, China will have the con­di­tions to reap an­nual growth of around 6 per­cent in the next decade. More im­por­tantly, such growth would be qual­ity and sus­tain­able.”

Ex­perts at the fo­rum also raised the is­sue of how the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment will tackle the chal­lenge of la­bor trans­fers dur­ing the eco­nomic struc­tural re­form.

“The num­ber of lay­offs will be huge, so the gov­ern­ment should de­sign poli­cies to help work­ers learn new skills,” said Zhang Yun­ling, di­rec­tor of in­ter­na­tional stud­ies at the Chi­nese Academy of So­cial Sciences. “These work­ers also have skills and ex­pe­ri­ences that can be turned into an ad­van­tage in terms of the coun­try’s ur­ban-ru­ral in­te­gra­tion.”

Pa­trick Haver­man, deputy China di­rec­tor for the United Na­tions De­vel­op­ment Pro­gramme, said sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment is the over­all goal.

“The G20 Sum­mit in Hangzhou made sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment one of its ac­tion plans, and we hope this mo­men­tum will con­tinue,” he said, adding that the UNDP China has many tech­ni­cal part­ners to help pro­vide on­line and off­line train­ing pro­grams on sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment.

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