Business / Economy

Li to explain China to business titans at economic forum

By Zhao Yinan (China Daily) Updated: 2015-01-17 06:26

Premier Li Keqiang will call for an "objective" and reasoned understanding of the Chinese economy from the international community in a speech to be delivered at the 45th annual World Economic Forum meeting next week, a leading official said on Friday.

The speech is expected to provide insight into global affairs and the Chinese economy for 2015.

Li will address 2,500 government and business leaders in Davos, Switzerland, to bolster global confidence in the Chinese economy as it goes through structural changes, Vice-Foreign Minister Li Baodong said at a briefing about the meeting.

The premier will also meet representatives of the International Business Council in Davos - mostly chief executive officers of multinationals - and meet the founder and executive chairman of the forum, Klaus Schwab.

He will explain the economy's "new normal" to boost understanding about China's reform and opening-up, Li Baodong said.

The world's second-largest economy has transitioned from rapid growth to a slower yet more sustainable growth, he said. The phrase "new normal" is used to emphasize that a manageable slowdown is not a danger, though lack of timely reforms could be fatal for long-term development.

It will be the first time in five years that a senior Chinese leader has attended the Davos forum. Li attended the 2010 annual meeting as vice-premier.

Dong Jinyi, the country's former ambassador to Switzerland, said Li's presence at Davos, in the wake of plummeting oil prices and the slowdown of emerging economies, will help to dispel uncertainties in the global community.

Meanwhile, the visit is an answer to global investors keen to understand China's new normal and its 2015 outlook, he said.

Li is also expected to promote financial cooperation with Switzerland during a working visit to the country, and to upgrade the bilateral free trade agreement that took effect in July.

Li Baodong, the vice-foreign minister, told a news briefing that the countries are expected to reach consensus in fields such as finance, trade, science, food, medicine and culture. They will discuss the implementation of the free trade policy and are expected to make a breakthrough on personnel exchanges, he said.

China is Switzerland's largest trading partner in Asia, while Switzerland is China's fifth-largest partner in Europe.

Bilateral trade increased 126.3 percent in 2013 year-on-year to $59.5 billion, but the growth rate dropped sharply after European countries were hit by recession last year.

It will be Li Keqiang's second visit to Switzerland since taking office in March 2013. He is expected to meet with Swiss Confederation President Simonetta Sommaruga and other Swiss leaders.

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