Renowned Chinese economist Hu Angang predicted in Beijing on Thursday China will create 80 million jobs for other nations in the next five years as the country's imports are expected to exceed US$4 trillion during the period.
In an exclusive interview with Xinhua, Hu, an expert on macroeconomics at China's prestigious Tsinghua University in Beijing, forecast China will bring tremendous business opportunities to and create many jobs for the world market, especially the United States, Japan, the European Union (EU) and Southeast Asian countries between 2006 and 2010.
His prediction is based on the country's fast growth of the economy, increasing trade, the expanding import volume in particular.
Between 2001 and 2005, he said China's accumulated import volume surpassed US$2 trillion, creating around 40 million jobs for other countries.
In 2005, China's foreign trade volume will hit record US$1.4 trillion, with imports standing at US$700 billion.
According to estimate of concerned departments, China's trade volume will hit US$ 2.5 to 2.8 trillion.
"China has not only become a world major export country, but also an important import market ever since it adopted the reform and opening-up policies in 1978," said Hu.
In 1978, China's imports stood at US$10.9 billion. The figure rose to US$148.47 billion in 2004, making China the world's third largest importer after the United States and Germany. The country's imports have kept growing by a yearly 16 percent since 1978.
Hu noted that China's fast expanding foreign trade is beneficial not only to itself, but also to its trading partners.
For example, he pointed out 70 percent of Chinese products exported to the United States, Japan and the EU are labor-intensive products, while 80 percent of the products imported by China from the United States, Japan and the EU are capital-, technology- and knowledge-intensive products.
"In fact," the economist said, "nearly 300 million US consumers have benefited from the unbalanced China-US trade."
"Over the past decade, China-made products have saved US consumers hundreds of billions of US dollars," he said.
Hu believed that China should take measures to promote not only export growth, but also import growth in the next five years, as the Chinese government has said it will continue to expand trade during the country's 11th Five-Year Program period (2006-2010).
"Chinese enterprises should be encouraged to purchase resources in short supply on the global market," Hu noted, "We should also encourage them to make full use of international energy, raw materials, high-tech products and advanced equipment."
He said, "The government should help enterprises fully use modern service resources offered by international finance, insurance and information agencies."
He suggested China, at the end of the three transitional years following its World Trade Organization accession in 2004, further lower tariffs on some selected products in a bid to let Chinese consumers get more benefits and further expand imports from trading partners with whom China has huge trade surpluses.
"China should fully use big countries' market advantages and positively increase domestic demand, especially the consumption of urban and rural citizens in the coming years," Hu said.
Meanwhile, China should positively take part in the economic globalization and continue to explore the international markets, he noted.
"A more open Chinese market will help create the world's largest market," said Hu.
The well-known economist concluded: "A rising China will not only benefit the 1.3 billion Chinese, but also the 6.5 billion people in the world."
(Xinhua News Agency December 30, 2005)