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40-year 7% Annual Growth Needed to Meet Well-off Target
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Minister Xu Guanhua of Science and Technology said Friday that China must maintain an annual growth rate of 7 percent for 40 years in order to meet the target of building a moderately prosperous society across the country by 2020.

The time span he mentioned is between the late of 1970s, when China began its reform and opening up, and 2020, which is the last year that China must fulfill its goal of building a well-off society in an all-round way.

Addressing the news conference on building an innovation- oriented country on the sidelines of the ongoing Fourth Session of the 10th National People's Congress (NPC), China's parliament, Xu said "if we can maintain an investment rate of 40 percent from now on, the contribution rate of science and technology to GDP growth is slated to hit 60 percent from the current 39 percent.

"Otherwise, it is not possible for us to meet the target of quadrupling the current per capita GDP by the year 2020."

"Our per capita supply of energy, water and land resources is becoming more stringent and the problems of resources and environment are becoming increasingly pressing after all these years of economic development," Xu said.

Only by promoting scientific and technological development can China solve all these problems, he noted.

According to Xu, Chinese enterprises are under increasing pressure from international competition as they become more deeply involved in the globalization process of the world economy.

Xu also cited an example at the news conference to illustrate the importance of building an innovation-oriented society.

He said Chinese enterprises have to pay high patent fees for some key technologies. 20 percent of a mobile phone's price, 30 percent of a computer's price and 40 percent of the price of a program-controlled digital machine tool have to be ceded to foreign patents' owners.

(Xinhua News Agency March 10, 2006)

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