Premier Zhu Rongji said yesterday that China is expected to maintain an annual economic growth rate of more than 7 percent for a long time.
Speaking at the Fourth Conference of World Trade Promotion Organizations in Beijing, Zhu said that for more than two decades China has made unswerving efforts in advancing reform and opening-up. That has resulted in a sustained, rapid and healthy economic growth and constant improvement in its people's living standards, he said.
A socialist market economy has basically taken shape in China and a pattern of all dimensional openness is in place, he added.
President Jiang Zemin in a congratulating letter to the conference said:
"With the deepening of world economic globalization, trade promotion organizations of various countries and regions further strengthen exchanges and cooperation and play active roles in promoting the development of international economic and trade development, thus spurring the solution of problems existing in world economic development."
He expressed his hope that the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade enhances exchanges and cooperation with trade promotion organizations of various countries and regions so as to make common efforts to promote the world economy.
China's imports and exports totaled US$509.8 billion last year, elevating the country to sixth place among the world's trading nations from the 32nd in 1978, Xinhua news agency reported.
To date, the total amount of foreign investment in China has topped US$400 billion, making China the leading recipient of foreign capital among all developing countries for the past nine years, Xinhua said.
The country's gross domestic product last year grew by 7.3 percent amid a considerable slowdown in world economy, and the growth rate for the first quarter of this year hit 7.6 percent.
Also yesterday, Zhu called on countries and international economic organizations to work together to enhance consultations and cooperation, improve multilateral trading rules and mechanisms and remove obstacles to the development of international trade.
He said it should be noted that the current international economic order is still "less than rational" as the North-South gap continues to widen, trade barriers of various kinds persist and trade protectionism is resurfacing, all "hindering a sound development of international trade."
The premier stressed that greater commitment is needed for the establishment of a fair and equitable new international economic order with special emphasis on helping developing countries to develop their economies, improve their international competitiveness and increase their trade with other countries.
The premier said that developing countries should also seize the opportunities presented by the expanded international trade, increase the technology content of their exports and improve their export mix so as to promote their economic growth.
Zhu pointed out that the government attaches great importance to developing China's economic and trade ties with the rest of the world, and China, while expanding its domestic market, has always worked hard to improve the international environment for trade.
China will work with other countries to contribute to expanded trade and capital flow in the world and push for further global economic growth, noted Zhu.
The premier said that with the advent of the new century, world economy and trade are faced with unprecedented opportunities as well as a host of new challenges.
The world today is witnessing a surging science and technology revolution and deepening economic globalization, which have tremendous and profound impacts on world economic development and restructuring, the premier said.
(eastday.com May 17, 2002)