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Wen urges steps to reverse slowdown trend
Updated: 2009-01-20 08:03

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Monday called for more steps in the first quarter this year to reverse the trend of economic slowdown as soon as possible and realize a good start for the whole of 2009.

Wen made the remarks during the second plenary meeting of the State Council, or the Cabinet. The meeting was held in Beijing Monday.

Participants at the meeting discussed the draft of the government work report, which would be delivered for review at the second plenary session of the 11th National People's Congress in March.

The draft would be sent to provincial governments and central departments for advice.

The soliciting advice and revision part was a process to achieve concerted understanding and enhance confidence; a process to counter the global financial crisis and address the difficulties which arose from it; a process to solicit public opinion and make scientific decisions; and a process to improve policies and measures as well as enhance their implementation, Wen said.

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Last year was an unusual year for the country, especially the second half of 2008 when the government unveiled a series of measures to counter the negative impacts of the global financial crisis.

"These measures have been proved prompt, correct and effective, " Wen said.

"This year is the most difficult year for China's economic development so far this century," he said.

Efforts should be made to enhance the implementation of the government's economic stimulus package and measures announced to boost the country's major industries, he said.

The Chinese government has announced boosting measures for the steel and auto industries, and is planning measures for eight other major industries.

Wen urged departments concerned to speed up work on the making of these boosting measures.

He called for more efforts on agricultural production during the winter and the coming spring, and said favorable policies for farmers should be firmly implemented.

He also called for efforts to promote stable and relatively fast industrial development.

Enterprises should be encouraged to intensify internal management, reduce operating cost, expand markets and stabilize employment, he said, and small and medium-sized enterprises should be given more support.

Work should be done to ensure service and commodity supply during the upcoming Spring Festival as well as boost consumption in both rural and urban regions, he said.

The government should work to maintain stable growth in trade, Wen said, underlining the need to expand emerging markets and improve the quality of exported goods.

Wen also stressed the need for work to ensure the country's financial stability and safety. The government should properly deal with changes brought about by the global financial crisis and maintain sound operation of the banking sector, he said.

More attention should be given to implement the central government's policy to improve people's living standards and solve problems concerning people's interests, he said.

He urged governments at all levels to attach great importance to boosting employment, help people who had difficulties in life, and ensure production safety and social stability.

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