Eye­ing growth through re­forms

GDP tar­get of 6.5pc in line with build­ing a mod­er­ately pros­per­ous so­ci­ety

New Straits Times - - Insight Into China -

BEI­JING the sec­ond-half of the year to elect a new lead­er­ship for the next five years.

Achiev­able tar­get

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 re­form

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.

Glob­al­i­sa­tion

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

XINHUA PIC

Chi­nese Premier Li Ke­qiang de­liv­er­ing his speech at the an­nual ses­sion of the Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress in Bei­jing re­cently.

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