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China's strong growth to continue after Olympics
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China is expected to continue its strong economic growth after the summer Olympics in August, led by expansion in various global events that it will be hosting, the New Straits Times quoted United Nations (UN) coordinator Khalid Malik as saying on Tuesday.

"Investments for the games have been massive and affect the whole country. Already, the country is gearing up for the World Expo in 2010, while every other day there is an event going on in China," said Khalid in Kuala Lumpur.

Even if the country's growth turns slower after the Olympics as expected by some quarters, it will not impact the strength of the economy, he stressed.

China has been trying to slow its growth over the past two years but still chalked an 11.7 percent growth last year.

With an anticipated global slowdown and weaker external demand, China is expected to see 10 percent growth this year, he said.

Khalid, however, said several risks could undermine the country's growth, including uneven development between the west and east of the country, gender differences, and average income differences between the rural and urban regions.

Earlier in his presentation on China's prospects and lessons, he said although many countries have similar conditions as China, they have not grown equally fast.

Khalid attributed this to the country's long-term commitment to reform and development, the restructuring of the bureaucracy and strong public role in creating human capital.

Its fast-aging society is also expected to pose a challenge to China going forward. Its population is expected to increase to 1.5 billion by 2040.

Meanwhile, Khalid hopes that China, with its 1.5 trillion US dollars reserves and its sovereign wealth fund, will look to investing in slower growth areas of Asia such as South Asia and unleash the growth there.

Economists said while China did not follow any of the standard prescriptions in Washington Consensus, it recorded one of the most dramatic poverty reductions in history with poverty falling from 15 percent in 1984 to two percent in 2006.

(Xinhua News Agency March 11, 2008)

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