BEIJING -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Friday said the country has difficulty in achieving the goal of 8 percent economic growth in 2009, but it is possible with "considerable efforts".
Setting the goal is "the government's commitment and responsibility" and has showed "confidence and hope" as the global financial crisis is taking a toll, said Wen at a press conference after the annual session of the National People's Congress (NPC) closed.
"It's just like we need compass on a sailing vessel to know where we are heading and when we will arrive at the destination," he said.
China is in a stage of accelerating marketization and urbanization and its consumption is expanding, he said.
Wen listed three advantages for the country to achieve the target:
-- With 1.3 billion population including 900 million rural residents, "China has a bigger market than those of the Europe and the United States given its big population and areas."
-- China has a reservoir of labor resources and talents. "Though the country has a difficult employment situation, it's important for China's development in the long term."
-- China's financial sector was "sound and steady" through reforms over the past decade. "It has provide great support for the country's economic development."
The Europe and the United States were fighting the global crisis on two fronts, the financial sector and the real economy. "In comparison, though China needs to fend off risks in the financial sector, the fiscal resources did not give a penny to fix loopholes in the sector," he said.
"On the contrary, the financial sector has provided a large quantity of loans for economic development," he said.
China's newly extended loans increased sharply during the past months. The monthly new lending stood at 470 billion, 770 billion, 1.62 trillion and 1.07 trillion yuan respectively from November to February, according to Wen.
Wen set this year's 8 percent economic growth target in his government work report to the NPC session, saying if proper policies and measures are taken it was possible to achieve the aim.
It is the fifth year in a row for the country to target an 8-percent growth, after the economy reported a single-digit growth of nine percent last year.