China to move away from energy-intensive growth

Updated: 2007-03-19 09:33

With China using 15 percent of the energy consumed in the world to produce 5.5 percent of the global GDP, it's imperative the country move from a high energy-consuming economy to one that provides for more sustainable development, said Ma Kai, head of the National Development and Reform Commission on Sunday.

Ma was speaking at the China Development Forum which began on Sunday.

Ever increasing rates of energy consumption are the norm for developing nations, which have become low-cost factory economies, that are mainly contracted by Western companies to make products for developed countries, said Ma.

Ma says new ideas on economic restructuring are needed if energy consumption is to be reduced and sustainable development achieved.

Stephan Roach, chief economist with Morgan Stanley, echoed Ma sentiments saying a successful re-balancing of the Chinese economy is needed if it is reduce pollution generated by high-energy consuming industry. Roach says after years of discussion it's time for China to act on realizing sustainable development.

Chen Qingtai, Deputy Director of the Development Research Center of the State Council, blamed market forces for the slow pace of change. He says the relatively low cost of energy provides no incentive for profit-oriented companies which pay little heed to consequences of negative environmental practices.

Chinese Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan opened the Eighth China Development Forum on Sunday saying China is determined to build an environmentally friendly society by enhancing energy conservation and promoting the use of clean energy.

The forum is being attended by scholars, government officials, and entrepreneurs who are interested in the Chinese economy.

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