SCIO press conference on forging ahead with confidence, upholding fundamental principles, breaking new ground, supporting high-quality development of real economy

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Mr. Yi Gang, governor of the People's Bank of China (PBC)

Mr. Pan Gongsheng, deputy governor of the PBC and head of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE)

Mr. Liu Guoqiang, deputy governor of the PBC


Mr. Chen Wenjun, director general of the Press Bureau of the State Council Information Office (SCIO) and spokesperson of the SCIO


March 3, 2023

Chen Wenjun:

Ladies and gentlemen, good morning. Welcome to the press conference held by the State Council Information Office (SCIO). This is the ninth press conference in the series “Embarking on the New Journey — A Government Prospective.” We have invited Mr. Yi Gang, governor of the PBC, to brief you on forging ahead with confidence, upholding fundamental principles, breaking new ground and supporting the high-quality development of the real economy, and to take your questions. Also present at today's press conference are Mr. Pan Gongsheng, deputy governor of the PBC and head of the SAFE, and Mr. Liu Guoqiang, deputy governor of the PBC.

Now, let's give the floor to Mr. Yi for his introduction. 

Yi Gang:

Friends from the media, ladies and gentlemen, good morning. I am very glad to attend today's press conference. Over the years, you have paid much attention and given much support to the financing sector and the PBC's work. Here, on behalf of the PBC, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all friends from the media and media outlets.

This year marks the first year in the implementation of the guiding principles of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC). The PBC will follow the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, implement the decisions and arrangements of the CPC Central Committee, and provide strong financial support to achieve stable and sound economic growth. Now, I will brief you on the relevant ideas, policies and measures of our work. 

First, we will implement a prudent monetary policy in a targeted and effective manner to foster a favorable monetary and financial environment for high-quality economic development. The top priority is to stabilize the value of the renminbi (RMB). The stable value of the RMB has two implications, the first of which is stable prices. In recent years, we have persevered with a prudent and normal monetary policy, providing a solid foundation for stabilizing prices. As you know, the world experienced serious inflation last year. Many countries including the United States and some European countries registered inflation rates of 8%, 9% and even 10%, hitting a record high in the past four decades. China's consumer price index (CPI) rose by 2%, indicating an ideal inflation level. Over the past five years from 2018 to 2022, and even over the past 10 years from 2013 to 2022, China's inflation rate has averaged 2%. Over the past decade, China's CPI has reached as high as 2.9% and as low as 0.9%, with an average of 2%, which has not come easily. The second implication of stable value of the RMB is basically stable exchange rates. Over the past five years, the RMB breached the 7 per U.S. dollar level three times and fell back to below 7 per dollar. The RMB exchange rate has fluctuated in both directions with more flexibility. Compared with other currencies around the globe, the RMB is very stable and robust, and such flexible market-based exchange rate system has also helped regulate the macroeconomy and actively stabilized the international balance of payments. 

Next, we will comprehensively leverage multiple monetary policy tools, maintain reasonably ample liquidity, and see that increases in broad money supply (M2) and aggregate financing are generally in line with nominal economic growth. We will keep the RMB exchange rate generally stable at an appropriate, balanced level. 

Second, we will improve the ability, quality and efficiency of financial services for the real economy, and better support key areas and weak links. We have introduced moderate monetary policies. Some people call them structural monetary policies, but they are also moderate. Currently, the outstanding value of these structural monetary policies stands at 6.4 trillion yuan, accounting for around 15% of the PBC's balance sheets — a generally moderate proportion and level. The structural monetary policies support two key areas: one is micro- and small-sized enterprises and the private economy, and the other is green financing. In 2022, the outstanding balance of inclusive loans to micro- and small-sized businesses reached nearly 24 trillion yuan and more than 56 million micro- and small-sized businesses received inclusive loans. In terms of green financing, we have two supporting tools, which led to carbon emission reductions equivalent to 100 million metric tons of carbon dioxide last year.

In the next stage, we will intensify support for sci-tech innovation, manufacturing, green development and energy supply. Inclusive financial services will be further improved in fields such as micro- and small-sized businesses, rural revitalization and employment.

Third, we have strengthened the system to ensure financial stability, safeguarding the bottom line of preventing systemic risks. We all know that in recent years, China has made great efforts to ensure that financial risks have been contained. Currently, China's four major banks have become global systemically important banks and the top four banks in the world in terms of capital strength. Meanwhile, the operation of most banks in China, including share-holding banks and small and medium banks, is also stable. Important progress has been made in advancing reform and defusing risks for a few small and medium financial institutions with difficulties.

In the next step, we will move to ensure responsibilities for the prevention and disposal of financial risks are fulfilled by all parties concerned. The National People's Congress has completed the first review of the law on financial stability. We will push for enacting the law, placing all types of financial activities under regulation according to laws and protecting the interests of the overwhelming majority of people, small- and medium-sized investors and the insured. Moreover, we will strive to achieve the intended goals of rectifying the financial services of internet platform enterprises, stepping up regular oversight, and supporting platform enterprises' standardized and healthy development.

Fourth, we have deepened the reform of the financial system and orderly advanced higher-level opening-up in the financial sector. All have witnessed our achievements in this regard in recent years. In the next stage, we will continue to foster a market- and law-based, internationalized and world-class business environment. We will steadily promote institutional opening-up that covers rules, regulations, management and standards in the financial sector. We will also uphold multilateralism and actively participate in global financial cooperation and governance.

Next, my colleagues and I would like to answer your questions. Thank you.

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