Blueprint for economic growth expected

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People visit the Bund in east China's Shanghai, Oct. 8, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

The upcoming 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China is expected to map out a blueprint for China's economic development for the next five years and beyond and shed light on the country's strategic solutions to improve growth quality with a focus on addressing unbalanced and inadequate development, experts said.

The Congress, which will open in Beijing on Sunday, will be closely followed as it will set out national economic policy objectives for a period that is critical for China to achieve the goal of building a modern socialist country and realizing national rejuvenation.

The event also comes as China faces increasingly complex risks and challenges including the lingering COVID-19 pandemic, rising geopolitical uncertainties, a dimmer outlook for the global economy dampened by high inflation and tighter financial conditions and diverging macroeconomic policies among major countries.

Facilitating the stable and high-quality growth of the world's second-largest economy will be one of the strategic missions of the country's top leadership for the next five years as it holds great significance for the country's modernization drive and it will also have great implications for global development, analysts said.

"China's economy is still an important force to promote the stabilization and recovery of the world economy and to reshape the global economic governance system," said Long Haibo, a senior researcher at the Development Research Center of the State Council.

"While the long-term fundamentals of the Chinese economy have not changed, we must pay close attention to new changes during the coming strategic period and strengthen our own development resilience," Long said.

High-quality economic growth will be a key policy theme as China enters a new development stage and future policy arrangements must highlight the necessity of addressing unbalanced and inadequate development in a more systematic and targeted way, he said.

Long said he expected the upcoming 20th CPC National Congress to offer guidance for China to better address major challenges including maintaining stable industrial and supply chains against external shocks, strengthening technological self-reliance while embracing greater opening-up, effectively boosting domestic demand and further narrowing income and wealth gaps between rural and urban areas.

China's economy is now at a critical juncture as its growth rate has decelerated amid a domestic resurgence of COVID-19 cases. External challenges such as interest rate hikes by central banks of major economies and uncertainties in external demand are also putting pressure on China's economic recovery. Global economic growth is projected to slow from the 6 percent of 2021 to 3.2 percent in 2022, and 2.7 percent in 2023, according to the International Monetary Fund's forecast.

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, said that the country must study and come up with new ideas and measures to address weaknesses and shortcomings in the economy while making greater efforts to consolidate its foundations and make full use of national advantages. He made the remarks at a workshop attended by senior Party and government officials in July.

Liu Ying, a researcher at the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China, said that China remains capable of maintaining an annual growth rate of 4 to 5 percent in the next few years and contributing substantially to global growth as the country continues to deepen reforms and unleash its innovative potential.

China's policymakers will likely put more emphasis on strengthening the nation's innovative capabilities, as these will be a key force in driving China's high-quality development. Future policies should focus on nurturing new growth drivers in areas such as the digital economy, modern agriculture and advanced manufacturing, which will help unleash fresh potential in the nation's economy, Liu said.

"In terms of reshaping and restructuring global industrial and supply chains, China can have a major position in the process, which I think is very crucial. The country should come up with new ideas and policies to promote the process," Liu added.

Cai Zhibing, an associate professor of economics at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee, said that China's high-quality economic growth is also characterized by the pursuit of common prosperity after the country eliminated absolute poverty.

He expected deeper reforms to be implemented to further improve the income distribution system and accelerate the process of narrowing wealth gaps and vitalizing the country's vast rural areas, which will be beneficial in terms of unleashing the potential of domestic demand and consumption.

Cai also called for bolder market-oriented reforms including further improving the business environment for private and foreign businesses, streamlining the relations between the market and government and boosting the efficiency and competitiveness of State-owned enterprises.

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