Wen calls for confidence in supporting growth

Updated: 2012-01-03 21:35


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CHANGSHA - Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has called for confidence in surmounting economic difficulties and stabilizing growth as the country faces a "cooling market".

"We must face the challenges with full confidence and overcome difficulties to achieve the target of making progress while maintaining stability," Wen said during a tour of central China's Hunan province on Sunday and Monday.

"By stability, we do not mean a standstill," Wen told company officials during visits to machinery and glass manufacturers. "Instead, we should stabilize economic growth, keep the overall price level basically stable and promote social harmony and stability."

Wen calls for confidence in supporting growth

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao talks with executives of Jiangbin Machinery Group in Xiangtan, Hunan province on Jan 1. [Photo/Xinhua] 

In the meantime, progress must be achieved in restructuring the economy, transforming the development pattern, improving technologies, management and efficiency, and making breakthroughs in reforms and opening up, he said.

The premier visited machinery manufacturers, locomotive producers and rural migrant workers in two cities in Hunan and delivered a message of confidence as the new year arrived.

Wen calls for confidence in supporting growth 

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visits migrant workers and sends them new year wishes in Xiangtan, Hunan province on Jan 1. [Photo/Xinhua] 

"As long as we pull together, we will have the confidence, courage and capability to get over the current difficulties and maintain stable and relatively fast economic growth," he said.

China set the main theme of next year's economic and social development as "making progress while maintaining stability" after a three-day central economic work conference held last month, which charted the course of next year's economic work.

The world's second largest economy slowed to 9.1-percent growth in the third quarter of 2011 from 9.5 percent in the second quarter and 9.7 percent in the first quarter.

The Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), a preliminary readout of the country's manufacturing activity, dropped below 50 percent in November, the first time since February 2009. It rebounded to 50.3 percent in December.

The premier noted that China is caught in a position where pressure for an economic downturn and high price levels both exist.

Compared with 2008, when the global financial crisis hit, dwindling external demand and rising costs for enterprises have further complicated the current situation, he said.

"We have a relatively cool market, which is the core of today's problems," Wen told the entrepreneurs.

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