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'New normal' needs environment for entrepreneurship

By Wu Jiangang ( Updated: 2015-03-09 13:41

'New normal' needs environment for entrepreneurship

A Chinese worker assembles a new energy car on the assembly line at an auto plant in Zouping county, East China's Shandong province, Dec 16, 2014. [Photo / IC]

The phrase "new normal" is becoming popular. People use it to describe many important changes in China. From perspective of economy, the "transition of economic growth model", as an old topic, may be a more precise way to describe the concept.

China's old economic growth model is successful in many ways. The most amazing achievement is the double-digit average growth rate of GDP for more than 30 years.

Chinese lack no passion for wealth. Having endured hard times, the society can't help seeking material success in order to acquire a feeling of safety by any means. In such a social psychology, it is natural to use GDP growth as the main assessment standard of government officials.

After the reform and opening-up in 1978, the society inherited the whole of planned economy system, which meant a strong government, planned economy thinking, dominant public ownership and lack of legal system for market economy.

Considering these defects, China stepped into a period of transition of economy from a planned one to a market one. This model brought not only great economic successes but also problems. Above all, it is unsustainable.

China has its wisdom to use its strong points and advantageous opportunities in international arena to offset its effects. The country has used:

1. Its strong government and public ownership to mobilize fund and land to provide wide variety of public services, such as transportation, energy, finance, telecommunications, water, etc.

2. Administrative methods due to lack of laws.

3. Large population to develop its labor-intensive manufacturing.

4. Center-controlled power to appoint and assess officials to stimulate competition of GDP growth.

5. Overseas markets to make up lack of spending power.

Above aspects constitute the main features of economic growth model for the period. These measures have effectively driven GDP growth in a crazy way. GDP growth rate has become a simple and efficient way for center government to manage its administrative system, but it also has many side effects.

Since GDP mainly measures quantity not quality, material not spiritual wealth, calculable numbers not incalculable effects, short-term gains not sustainability, ends not means, and so on, a GDP-oriented economic system inevitably stresses the former and ignores the latter. It creates problems as prevalent corruption, serious pollution, high housing price, severe food safety, critical gap between rich and poor, etc.

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