China expects positive GDP growth, achieving development goals

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, May 29, 2020
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Chinese Premier Li Keqiang meets the press after the closing of the third session of the 13th National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, May 28, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

Premier Li Keqiang said Thursday China is expected to achieve positive economic growth this year if security in six key areas is ensured.

The six areas refer to job security, basic living needs, operations of market entities, food and energy security, stable industrial and supply chains, and the normal functioning of primary-level governments.

Li highlighted efforts to maintain security in the first three areas when addressing a news conference after the conclusion of the annual national legislative session.

China has set no specific target for economic growth this year due to great uncertainties. Instead, it has made practical plans to ensure more than 9 million new urban jobs, give full play to over 100 million market entities, and improve people's livelihoods.

Vitality and wellbeing

Not setting a specific GDP growth target does not mean that economic development is not important, Li said. "Our decision is designed for the economic development to deliver more real gains to our people and we want to promote higher quality development."

The policies and measures are designed to provide vital relief to businesses and revitalize the markets, with a particular focus on keeping jobs and protecting people's livelihoods instead of undertaking large infrastructure construction projects, he said.

"This is because big change has taken place in China's economic structure where consumption is now the primary engine driving growth, and micro, small and medium-sized companies now provide over 90 percent of all jobs in China today," said the premier.

Li said money invested in the people will be able to generate new wealth, help protect and preserve tax sources, and make public finance more sustainable.

"We will do our utmost to keep China's economic growth stable, and at the same time we must ensure that all measures taken are well calibrated," he said.

Outmaneuvering difficulties

COVID-19 has taken a heavy toll on the global economy in a way rarely seen before, Li said. "As China's economy has become deeply integrated into the global economy, it is simply impossible for it to stay immune to the impact."

China will take targeted measures instead of massive stimulus to boost economic growth, Li said. "We have repeatedly said that we will not flush the Chinese economy with liquidity. We didn't do it and we will not do it now."

"Just as water is important to fish farming, sufficient liquidity is important to economic development," Li said. "But excessive liquidity will induce froth in the marketplace where some people may attempt to muddy the waters and fish for arbitrage."

The country reserves policy space on the fiscal, financial, social security and other fronts, and is in a strong position to quickly introduce new measures should the situation call for it without any hesitation, Li said.

China will be able to fulfill the tasks and goals for the whole year and complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects, he said.

Big open market

Keeping China's economic fundamentals stable will contribute to the whole world, and the country will remain a positive force driving global economic recovery and growth, Li said.

It is impossible for any country to achieve further development with its door closed and China will keep to its opening-up policy and will not waver in this commitment, he said.

China, a huge market for the world, is prepared to boost imports, Li said, noting that measures to provide relief and revitalize the market are expected to further spur consumption.

To facilitate foreign investment, China will further implement the foreign investment law, shorten the negative list for foreign investment, further open up the service sector, and improve the business environment.

"We hope that people will stay optimistic about coming to invest in this big market of China," he said. 

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