Business / Economy

Quality growth eyed in deepening reform, innovation

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-09-11 13:39

TIANJIN - Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday said the government was not distracted by short-term fluctuations and assured the world of more quality-focused growth achieved through deepening reform and encouraging innovation.

Li's remarks came as signs of slowdown was observed in a few economic indicators in the past month, fanning speculation of subdued growth momentum in the world second largest economy.

"We focused more on structural readjustment and other long-term problems, and refrained from being distracted by the slight short-term fluctuations of individual indicators," Li said in his keynote speech at the Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2014, which opened Wednesday in north China's port city of Tianjin.

The premier urged the world to "look at the overall trend, the bigger picture and the total score" of the Chinese economy. He named a few areas of highlight including steady growth in employment, a surge of newly founded companies and better economic structure that were achieved despite strong downward pressure.

China's GDP expanded 7.4 percent from a year ago in the first half of this year with a slightly stronger second quarter, while the annual growth target was set at around 7.5 percent.

At the same time, the government rolled out a raft of reform measures including speeding up shantytown renovation and guiding credit into the agricultural sector and small businesses.

"We did not adopt strong stimulus, nor did we relax monetary policy. Instead, we push forward reform, adjust structure and try to benefit the people," the premier said.

Analysts have viewed the reform measures in the first half of the year as "mini-stimulus," a means of boosting selective sectors to fine-tune the macro-economy.

"The strength of China's reform has been strong," Jerry Zhang of Standard Chartered Bank (China) told Xinhua. Zhang said the country took cautious steps in speeding up reform without giving excessive remedy to problematic sectors.

He expected more mini-stimulus to come out in the third quarter this year, before the economy stabilizes in the final quarter or in the next year.

Job market in focus

Premier Li reiterated the idea of growth in "a proper range," highlighting job market expansion as a key factor to stabilize growth.

"Judging by the principle of range-based macro-control, we believe the actual economic growth rate is within the proper range, even if it is slightly higher or lower than the 7.5 percent target," Li said.

The premier said the floor of the government macro-control is to keep employment at sufficient level. The bigger volume of the job market, the greater tolerance for fluctuations, he said.

Zhang Liqun, an economist with the Development Research Center of the State Council, said the speech signals the government's new strategy of macro-control, which no longer dwells in a headline growth target but outlines a host of specific goals to be achieved.

Quality growth eyed in deepening reform, innovation

Quality growth eyed in deepening reform, innovation

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