Business / Economy

China's economic transformation in full swing: economist

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-04-21 14:50

SANTIAGO - China is going through a full-scale economic transformation that sees lower growth rates, with a focus on product quality and brand recognition, according to a Chinese economist.

Zhang Liqun, a leading economist with the Development Research Center of China's State Council, made the remarks during a video conference between Beijing and Chile's capital Santiago on Wednesday.

His presentation aimed to shed light on China's ongoing economic shift, which Beijing has dubbed the "new normal," and how it can affect the future of trade and financial ties with Chile.

"In the previous quarter we saw 6.7 percent growth in gross domestic product (GDP), which means we are reaching the sustainable level of the target the country has set," said Zhang.

"There has been an adjustment in the Chinese economy, and the tension (it caused) is subsiding," noted Zhang, adding that China's economic transformation "is now settling into a normality at that level of growth."

As of this point, he said, China's main challenge lies in increasing consumer demand in different areas of the region.

Following years of breakneck economic expansion, the Asian giant has registered in the past few months slower growth and that has become a point of concern for its trade partners in Latin America, which rely heavily on Chinese investment and its purchase of raw materials.

China's "low growth has touched bottom and rates have registered significant recovery, including orders, purchases and expected output," which means production and business activities have picked up, said Zhang.

As China's fiscal and monetary policies continue to strengthen, added Zhang, capital and real estate markets, and investment in general, will receive greater support, compared to the year before.

Chinese investment in infrastructure is expected to increase more this year, bringing stability to global investment, said the economist.

As China moves forward with its 13th Five Year Plan, its huge domestic market presents enormous development potential, especially when more people are moving into the cities, Zhang noted.

In 2014, China's urbanization rate reached 54.77 percent.

The video conference was jointly organized by the Federation of Chilean Industry (SOFOFA), the Center for Business Studies at the Adolfo Ibanez University, and the Center for Political and Social Studies at the Andres Bello University.

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