Though faced with "the most difficult year" for its economy, China on Saturday showed a strong confidence in its sustained, rapid growth, with Premier Wen Jiabao telling a top-grade world economic forum that his country enjoys a favorable development environment as a whole.
[ Read the full text of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's speech at 2008 Summer Davos in Tianjin ]
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao delivers a speech at the opening ceremony of the second Annual Meeting of the New Champions organized by the World Economic Forum at Tianjin Binhai Convention and Exhibition Center in north China's Tianjin Municipality, Sept. 27, 2008. [Ma Ping/Xinhua]
"We have full confidence and capability to overcome various difficulties to ensure sound and fast growth of the national economy for an even longer period of time," said the premier while addressing the opening ceremony of the 2008 Summer Davos forum in Tianjin on Saturday afternoon.
And such a growth will be China's "greatest contribution" to the world economy under the current circumstances, said Wen during a brief question and answer session that followed his speech.
The two-day forum, also known as the Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2008, has drawn some 1,400 participants from nearly 90 countries and regions, most of whom are successful entrepreneurs and high-ranking government officials.
The meeting, second of its kind sponsored by the prestigious World Economic Forum, took place at a difficult time for the world economy, as a financial storm starting from the Wall Street rocked the globe and triggered widespread worries about economic slowdown or even depression.
"It has been an extraordinary few weeks on the financial markets, weeks with consequences across the global economy," said European Union Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson, who is also in this north China metropolis to attend the forum, on Friday in a speech to the local European business people.
The costs of this crisis will be felt by all countries, including China through changing stock market sentiment, falling inward investment and a fall in export demand tied to falling consumer spending in Europe and the US, said Mandelson.
The Chinese premier also observed that the world economic environment is getting "tougher and more complex," with "exacerbated financial volatility" and "notable economic slowdown."
And this is just one of many "considerable difficulties" faced by the country, which also needs to address other prominent problems such as domestic price rises, a weak agriculture, energy and resources constraint, poor business management, and hidden problems in the financial sector.
"As I said earlier in the year, 2008 could be the most difficult year for China's economy," said Wen, who also cited natural calamities that struck the country in a row, including heavy snow and sleet storms in January and February and a devastating earthquake in May.
Nevertheless, he stressed that "the economic fundamentals in China remain unchanged" and the economy "is moving in the direction envisaged in the macro-economic control policy."