Business / Economy

6.5% GDP growth is bottom line, not necessarily target: expert

By He Yini ( Updated: 2015-11-04 17:49

6.5% GDP growth is bottom line, not necessarily target: expert

A port is pictured in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, Nov 1, 2015. [Photo / IC]

China has the potential to maintain a growth rate of 7 percent and is likely to target the figure in the next five years, higher than the required 6.5 percent, as the country is expected to continue gaining traction from the ongoing urbanization and reforms, experts and economists have said.

"A 7 percent growth is actually a more appropriate target for China's economy that could lubricate the restructuring process," Lian Ping, chief economist at the Bank of Communications, was quoted as saying by the Shanghai Securities News.

He noted that there's room for economic development amid urbanization and reforms, and "if the country is capable of maintaining a higher growth, there's no need to lower public expectations."

Tuesday's proposal for China's 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20), which will be submitted for review and approval by the National People's Congress in March, stated that the country will double both its aggregate GDP and per capita income by 2020 compared with 2010 levels.

That requires China's economy to grow at 6.5-7 percent in the next five years, should the country need to secure employment while reducing excess and obsolete capacity, the newspaper quoted Zhang Jun, chief economist at the Morgan Stanley Huaxin Securities as saying.

The target of 6.5 percent may be the bottom line, but 7 percent is highly possible, he said, echoing Chinese President Xi Jinping's words at a top-level decision-making meeting last week.

Xi said an annualized GDP growth rate of 6.5 percent will "be the minimum" required, and such a medium-high level of growth will help Chinese citizens "truly benefit" from a moderately prosperous society.

The development should not just be focused on growth speed, but also on growth in volume and, more importantly, growth in quality, the president said.

Zhang Liqun, a researcher at the Development Research Center of the State Council, said: "The target of no lower than 6.5 percent allows room for economic operation and provides more leeway for the country's macro-control in the next five years."

Xinhua contributed to this story.

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