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Premier Wen: Economy to stay the course
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Premier Wen Jiabao said on Saturday China was confident and fully capable of keeping a good momentum of economic growth this year despite domestic difficulties and a global economic slowdown.

Addressing a seminar for the country's ministerial-level officials in Beijing, Wen said this year had been the most difficult year as China faced both global challenges and domestic problems in economic operation.

A seminar for the country's ministerial-level officials was held in Beijing on Sep. 20. [Xinhua]

A seminar for the country's ministerial-level officials is held in Beijing on Sep. 20. [Xinhua]

Global financial instability and economic slowdown had exerted a strong influence on the country. In addition, China had to tackle domestic problems, including price increases and regional economic slowdown.

However, the country had adopted a series of counter measures and these had proved effective, he said.

With huge domestic demand, relatively abundant capital and an improved labor force quality, the country was fully confident and capable of reinforcing the good momentum of economic growth. Wen noted the material wealth collected in the past three decades and accumulated experience would help the country to address problems arising from economic development.

Efforts should be made to rein in inflation and ensure macro-economy stability, especially the financial market and the stock market, he stressed.

In his speech, Wen urged local governments and officials to put work and food safety at the top of their agendas.

The development of enterprises and economy should not be at the cost of people's lives and health, he emphasized.

Wen also vowed to beef up efforts to monitor food quality and rectify the food market. All illegal activities should be severely punished to ensure people have safe food.

He also championed the balanced development between the rural and urban areas, saying agricultural issues should be the first priority of government work

The seminar was presided over Vice Premier Li Keqiang. Vice President Xi Jinping also attended.

(Xinhua News Agency September 21, 2008)

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