More Support for Rural Area
Resource Saving a Key Economic Target
Economy to Open Up Further
The government announced on Sunday that it will continue to put macroeconomic control at the top of the agenda next year in order to maintain steady economic development and stable prices.
The annual central economic conference, which concluded in Beijing at the weekend, clarified China's overall economic tasks for 2005, based on a summary of this year’s economic performance.
The 3-day conference was attended by all nine members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee. President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao both delivered speeches.
It was agreed that the priority will be to further strengthen and improve macroeconomic control mechanisms.
Work concerning rural areas, agriculture and farmers will also be reinforced, and efforts made to raise the production capacity and promote growth of output and farmers' income, the conference said.
Other key points were to: control the overall scale of investment in fixed assets; optimize investment structures and make readjustments between investment and consumption; adhere to the development of new industrialization, speed up economic restructuring and the transition of growth patterns; and promote interaction among eastern, central and western regions of the country, so that they can complement each other in coordinated development.
Also included were to continue to implement the strategy of rejuvenating the nation with science and education, speed up the development of social undertakings, to protect social stability, and to promote economic reforms and raise the level of opening up.
Drafting of the 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-2010) and the 2020 prospecting development targets will also be carried out in 2005.
The conference spoke highly of the central authorities' decision to strengthen and improve macro-control over the past year, which has helped restrain some unhealthy factors and avoid drastic ups and downs in economic development.
Gross domestic product reached 9.3 trillion yuan (US$1.1 trillion) in the first three quarters of this year, a 9.5 percent year-on-year rise. The increase of the consumer price index, a key barometer of inflation, dropped nearly one percent month-on-month to 4.3 percent in October.
The conference said that a crucial turning point has been reached in grain production, leading to a great increase in farmers' income.
Grain output is expected to reach 455 billion kilograms by the end of this year, a sharp contrast to four years of falling yields. The per capita cash income of farmers amounted to 2,110 yuan (US$255) in the first three quarters, up 11.4 percent year-on-year, recording the highest jump since 1997.
According to the conference, over-investment in some industries has been curbed effectively and weak sectors have been strengthened, thanks to the government's macroeconomic control policy.
Investment in fixed assets totaled 4.5 trillion yuan (US$544 billion) by September this year, up 27.7 percent year-on-year, but down 15.3 percentage points and 0.9 percentage points respectively when compared with the growth rates of the first quarter of this year and the first half of 2004.
There was also an evident slowdown in investment in some overheated sectors, such as steel, cement, aluminum and real estate. Stricter control over loans and land use is believed to have played an important role in holding this back.
The conference applauded the continuous rise in economic benefits, large increase in fiscal revenue and enterprise profits, as well as new progress in employment and re-employment.
Fiscal revenue was 420 billion yuan (US$50.7 billion) in the first three quarters of this year. Industrial enterprises reported a total profit of 913.3 billion yuan (US$112 billion) from January to October, a 39.7 percent year-on-year rise. The country's import and export value is also expected to exceed US$1 trillion, placing it third in global trade.
The conference scored the government's macro-control policies and measures over the past year as “timely, accurate and effective.” But it also warned that some deep-rooted problems hindering healthy growth of the economy remain unsolved.
The conference called for further efforts in handling the relationship between market mechanisms and macro-control, optimizing economic structures and promoting coordinated development.
(Xinhua News Agency December 5, 2004)