Li: Jobs, sta­bil­ity to be fo­cus in near term

China’s econ­omy is releasing new power to sup­port growth in a time of global un­cer­tainty, pre­mier says

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By HU YONGQI in Bei­jing huy­ongqi@chi­

Sta­bil­ity, es­pe­cially of the job mar­ket, is the eco­nomic pri­or­ity of the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment amid un­cer­tain­ties over­seas, Pre­mier Li Ke­qiang said dur­ing a meet­ing to so­licit ideas on im­prov­ing eco­nomic devel­op­ment and pub­lic liveli­hood.

Li said the pri­or­ity would be em­pha­sized through the re­main­der of the year and the be­gin­ning of the next, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment re­leased on Tues­day.

Li called for steady growth and ac­cel­er­a­tion in re­form dur­ing what was the first high-level meet­ing on the eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion af­ter the US pres­i­den­tial elec­tion. The sem­i­nar, held Mon­day in Bei­jing, was at­tended by aca­demics, re­searchers and other ex­perts, as well as busi­ness ex­ec­u­tives.

Though faced with ris­ing com­plex­i­ties around the world, China’s tran­si­tion from its old to a new devel­op­ment model is releasing new power to help main­tain its eco­nomic bal­ance and growth, Li said.

Start­ing now and into next year, the gov­ern­ment’s pri­or­ity is to give strong sup­port to the peo­ple’s em­ploy­ment and liveli­hood, he em­pha­sized.

Li said pru­dent mone­tary pol­icy and proac­tive fis­cal pol­icy will be car­ried out next year to sup­ply rea­son­ably ad­e­quate liq­uid­ity and boost in­vest­ment.

He said there will be stronger mea­sures to boost the real econ­omy and in­no­va­tion, given ris­ing un­cer­tainty in the global econ­omy and dis­crep­an­cies among dif­fer­ent re­gions and in­dus­tries in do­mes­tic growth.

He noted the re­cent shop­ping ex­trav­a­ganza on Nov 11, Sin­gles Day — when Chi­nese buy­ers made on­line pur­chases of more than 100 bil­lion yuan ($14.66 bil­lion) in a sin­gle day — as a good ex­am­ple of vi­tal­ity in the real econ­omy.

This year has seen Bri­tain vot­ing to exit the Euro­pean Union, and next year likely will bring new and un­fore­see­able poli­cies en­acted by US Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump. Both are re­garded by economists as pos­si­ble sources of pres­sure on China’s ex­ports and econ­omy.

China’s tran­si­tion from its old to a new devel­op­ment model is releasing new power to help main­tain its eco­nomic bal­ance and growth, says pre­mier.

Trump’s vic­tory, es­pe­cially, has pro­voked ques­tions, as re­flected in tur­moil in com­modi­ties fu­tures mar­ket over the week­end, said Huang Qun­hui, di­rec­tor of the In­sti­tute of In­dus­trial Eco­nom­ics at the Chi­nese Acad­emy of So­cial Sciences. It is im­por­tant for China to main­tain the sta­bil­ity of its econ­omy to en­sure em­ploy­ment and so­cial wel­fare, he said.

Mean­while, the US Fed­eral Re­serve likely will move again to raise in­ter­est rates, which will place pres­sure on emerg­ing economies in­clud­ing China. The ren­minbi also fell to a six-year record low against the US dol­lar last week.

Guo Tiany­ong, a fi­nance re­searcher at the Cen­tral Univer­sity of Fi­nance and Eco­nom­ics, said Trump will prob­a­bly loosen reg­u­la­tions on US banks, which could ac­cel­er­ate the ap­pre­ci­a­tion of the dol­lar. But China’s econ­omy is sta­bi­liz­ing, pro­vid­ing the ba­sis for the ren­minbi to main­tain sta­bil­ity in the mid­dle and long term, Guo said.

At the meet­ing, Li lis­tened to sug­ges­tions made by rep­re­sen­ta­tives of banks, uni­ver­si­ties, man­u­fac­tur­ers and hos­pi­tals, who spoke of the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion and prospects in their own fields. They in­di­cated that China’s econ­omy is sta­bi­liz­ing, with many in­di­ca­tors bet­ter than ex­pected, pro­vid­ing a ba­sis for con­fi­dence.

For decades, China’s econ­omy has been driven by in­vest­ment, ex­ports and con­sump­tion. Ex­ports are de­clin­ing and pri­vate in­vest­ment is grow­ing more slowly.

The cen­tral gov­ern­ment should main­tain the con­ti­nu­ity of cur­rent macroe­co­nomic poli­cies, par­tic­u­larly mone­tary and fis­cal poli­cies, to cul­ti­vate growth within a rea­son­able range, Guo said.

The pre­mier also called on gov­ern­men­tal de­part­ments to closely track chang­ing sit­u­a­tions to sta­bi­lize eco­nomic growth, deepen re­forms, boost re­struc­tur­ing and pre­vent risks, which will im­prove hous­ing, med­i­cal care and other so­cial wel­fare in­di­ca­tors.

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