Na­tion to see 6-7% growth, says se­nior econ­o­mist

China Daily (USA) - - BUSINESS - By XIN ZHIMING in Shang­hai xinzhim­ing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

China will prob­a­bly achieve an an­nual GDP growth of 6 to 7 per­cent in the com­ing decade, Lawrence Lau, se­nior econ­o­mist of the Chi­nese Univer­sity of Hong Kong, said on Thurs­day.

The world’s sec­ond-largest economy man­aged to grow 6.7 per­cent year-on-year in the first three quar­ters, but the growth chal­lenge will be­come ever more se­vere in the com­ing years as its re­struc­tur­ing re­forms con­tinue.

“I’m op­ti­mistic that China’s economy can grow by 6 per­cent to 7 per­cent for the next five to 10 years,” Lau­toldasym­po­sium held by theAsian De­vel­op­ment Bank to com­mem­o­rate the 30th an­niver­sary of its part­ner­ship with China.

China has set a tar­get for its GDP and per capita in­come to dou­ble from 2010 to 2020. It means its an­nual GDP growth should be about 6.5 per­cent to meet­that­tar­get. Bu­t­a­sit­car­ries out eco­nomic re­struc­tur­ing re­form­samidthe un­sta­ble global eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion, which has al­ready driven down its in­dus­trial and ex­port growth, some an­a­lysts have doubted whether China can achieve its eco­nomic goals by 2020.

Lau said the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment has done a fairly good job in main­tain­ing the growth mo­men­tum. “Al­though growth rate has dropped, it has main­tained it at above 6 per­cent,” he said.

He said China should pay close at­ten­tion to the prob­lem of in­ad­e­quate de­mand. “It is a big prob­lem and pol­i­cy­mak­ers can make poli­cies to stim­u­late de­mand.”

But he said China has an ad­van­tage in stim­u­lat­ing ag­gre­gate de­mand through gov­ern­ment poli­cies. For ex­am­ple, he said, as it tries to lower the PM2.5 (very small par­ti­cles able to en­ter the lungs and blood­stream to se­ri­ously dam­age health) lev­els in big cities, China can in­crease de­mand for en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion-re­lated prod­ucts and ser­vices.

Lau also praisedChina’s eco­nomic achieve­ments in the past more than three decades. China has main­tained a GDP growth of about 10 per­cent on av­er­age since the early 1980s, which is a “mir­a­cle” and a “spec­tac­u­lar suc­cess”, Lau said.

Chi­nese of­fi­cials par­tic­i­pat­ing in the ADB sym­po­sium said the ADB has played an im­por­tant role in help­ing China achieve that suc­cess. “The ADB has pro­vided re­sources, tech­niques, and pol­icy sug­ges­tions to sup­port and pro­mote China learn­ing from other coun­tries and more closely co­op­er­at­ing with Asia and other coun­tries,” said Chen Shixin, a se­nior of­fi­cial at the Min­istry of Fi­nance.

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