Xi says 7% GDP growth is still strong

JoongAng Daily - - Front Page - Bloomberg

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping sig­naled China is ready to ac­cept slower eco­nomic growth, telling a gath­er­ing of ex­ec­u­tives that ex­pan­sion of about 7 per­cent will still make the coun­try one of the world’s top per­form­ers.

“Even a growth rate of about 7 per­cent will put China among the top per­form­ers in the world in terms of both speed and size,” Xi told the Asia-Pa­cific Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion (APEC) CEO Sum­mit in Beijing. “Some worry whether China’s growth rate will slow down fur­ther, or whether China can over­come the ob­sta­cles — risks are in­deed there but they’re not that scary.”

China’s econ­omy is fore­cast to grow at 7.5 per­cent this year, the slow­est since 1990. The coun­try may cut its growth tar­get to 7 per­cent for 2015, ac­cord­ing to a survey of econ­o­mists last month.

Xi said an eco­nomic slow­down is part of China’s “new nor­mal” where the econ­omy will be fu­eled more by ser­vices, con­sump­tion and in­no­va­tion in­stead of in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ment. The gov­ern­ment will be able to han­dle any slow­down, he said.

“Seven per­cent looks like the con­sen­sus for growth tar­get next year,” said Shen Jian­guang, Hong Kong­based chief Asia economist at Mizuho Se­cu­ri­ties Asia Ltd. “A fur­ther sig­nal that Chi­nese pol­icy-mak­ers are will­ing to tol­er­ate lower growth to pur­sue struc­tural re­form. I think a lower bot­tom line of growth of 6.7 per­cent should be also ac­cept­able with any la­bor mar­ket prob­lem.”

Yes­ter­day’s sum­mit and an APEC min­is­ters’ meet­ing that ended Satur­day saw Xi put his vi­sion for Asian re­gional co­op­er­a­tion on the agenda, with the pro­posed Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pa­cific (FTAAP) agree­ment fea­tur­ing in dis­cus­sions and win­ning support from Chilean Pres­i­dent Michelle Bachelet. The U.S. is push­ing for a sep­a­rate re­gional trade agree­ment, the Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship, which doesn’t cur­rently in­clude China, high­light­ing com­pe­ti­tion be­tween the world’s two largest economies for in­flu­ence in Asia.

China is pro­mot­ing the FTAAP as a way to bol­ster com­merce across a group of na­tions that in­cludes the world’s three largest economies. Asian trade and for­eign-af­fairs min­is­ters agreed Satur­day to start a two-year study on the pact.

With­out men­tion­ing the Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship, Xi said a key chal­lenge in the re­gion is that “var­i­ous types of re­gional free trade ar­range­ments mush­roomed, cre­at­ing puzzling choices.”

He added that the re­gion is at a cross­roads. It can move for­ward in in­te­gra­tion or fall into the “vor­tex of frag­men­ta­tion,” he said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Korea, Republic

© PressReader. All rights reserved.