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China's economy to remain strong, consultants
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China will keep reasonably robust economic growth despite the ongoing international economic recession, according to Merrill Lynch analysts here on Tuesday.

"As part of the world economy, China certainly would be affected by the current financial crisis," said Liu Erfei, the company's managing director. "We expect the country's economy to slow down from its (current) double-digit growth to an 8 or 9 percent (annual GDP) increase, still relatively rapid."

He added while some countries including the United States stumbled in the credit sector from over-leveraging themselves, China didn't get itself involved in a similar problem.

The New York-based investment bank and brokerage house attributed the country's stable economic performance to the governmental control on its state capital.

"Domestic capital market has not been completely open to the outside yet. This enables the country to avoid major international financial risks," Liu said.

The country was spared much trouble as it didn't invest in sub-prime related financial products, the failure of which had been acknowledged as a prime cause for the present global financial woes.

Meanwhile, the company's research showed domestic consumption would stand out as a major driver for the country's economic growth at a time when exports and the property sector were affected by a shrinking global market.

A developing pro-labour policy, as well as an emerging major consumer force of people born after 1978, would help accelerate the nation's consumption, according to Merrill Lynch market analyst Cui Wei.

"Our view on China's economy in the next five to 10 years is very optimistic," Liu added.

(Xinhua News Agency October 15, 2008)

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