Eyeing growth through reforms
GDP target of 6.5pc in line with building a moderately prosperous society
BEIJING the second-half of the year to elect a new leadership for the next five years.
Li also announced that this year, China will keep its consumer price index increase at three per cent, and create more than 11 million urban jobs, keeping the unemployment rate within 4.5 per cent.
The country will also reduce its energy consumption per unit of GDP by at least 3.4 per cent.
“An important reason for stressing the need to maintain stable growth is to ensure employment and improve people’s lives,” Li said.
Last year, China’s GDP reached 74.4 trillion yuan (RM47.5 trillion), a 6.7-per cent growth, outpacing most other economies and contributing more than 30 per cent of global growth.
Despite challenges, China created 13.14 million urban jobs and increased per capita disposable income by 6.3 per cent. About 12.4 million people shook off poverty.
Noting that China must be ready to face more complicated and graver situations including sluggish world economic growth, and the growing trend of protectionism, Li expressed his confidence that difficulties will be overcome as the country has a solid material foundation, abundant human resources, a huge market, and a complete system of industries.
Supply-side structural reform will be given priority in China's development, Li said.
According to the report, efforts will centre on a variety of areas, including streamlining administration, reducing taxes, further expanding market access, and reducing ineffective supply while expanding effective supply.
China will pursue a more proactive and effective fiscal policy.
It plans to invest 800 billion yuan in railway construction and 1.8 trillion yuan in highway and waterway projects, and begin construction on another 15 major water conservation projects. The government aims to reduce the number of poor rural residents by 10 million, including relocating 3.4 million people from inhospitable areas.
Despite an increase in anti-globalisation sentiment and attempts to reverse the trend, Li said China opposes protectionism in its different forms, and will work toward a deeper and higher level of opening up.
In this spirit, Li said, China will push ahead with the Belt and Road Initiative. For example, by accelerating the building of overland economic corridors and maritime cooperation hubs.
The initiative, proposed by China in 2013 with the aim of connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along ancient trade routes, has yielded infrastructure projects of all sorts, economic and trade cooperation zones, and jobs.
China will also make big moves to improve the environment for foreign investors. Xinhua
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang delivering his speech at the annual session of the National People’s Congress in Beijing recently.