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Vice premier predicts growth over 7% by 2020
By Fu Jing (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-09-13 07:36

China will sustain an annual economic growth rate of above 7 per cent by 2020.

The prediction made by Vice-Premier Zeng Peiyan at the ongoing China Business Summit 2004 echoed forecasts by the world's business leaders, who said the global economy will be gradually dominated by the United States and China, rather than just the United States.

While maintaining its growth momentum which achieved an average growth of 9.4 per cent over the past 25 years, China's total volume of gross domestic product (GDP) will reach US$4 trillion and per capita GDP, which surpassed US$1,000 last year, will increase to US$3,000 in 2020, Zeng told the two-day summit jointly organized by the World Economic Forum and the China Enterprise Federation.

The present US-centred world economy will become dominated by a group of two in the next 10 years, said Jeffrey E. Garten, dean of the Yale School of Management of Yale University.

On the way to this goal, China will be challenged by global competition for capital and resources and its ability to participate in international organizations such as the G7.

He also warned that China should put more efforts into the protection of its culture and education while integrating with the global economy.

Chinese scholars echoed Garten's warning.

"China's big challenge over the next 20 years will be a shortage of resources, especially an energy shortage," Zhang Jianyu, head of the Beijing Office of the US-based non-governmental environmental organization Environmental Defence told China Daily.

He said the Chinese Government is facing up to the challenge and is working to develop the economy in a sustainable way.

"China needs interaction with the rest of the world in order to achieve this model of development," said Zhang, who added China is playing an increasingly important role in international and regional organizations.

An example of this is China's role in the Shanghai Co-operation Organization, he said.

Speakers at the summit expressed concern about the state of Sino-US economic relations.

Yu Ping, vice-chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), said the two countries had laid solid foundations for mutual economic development because of the permanent most-favoured nation status the United States extended to China in 2002.

In the years between 1979 - when the two countries established diplomatic relations - and 2003, Sino-US trade volume grew 50 times to US$126 billion, according to China Customs statistics.

In 2003, China's exports to the United States reached US$74.92 billion, rising 32.7 per cent year-on-year. The nation's imports from the United States rose 25.7 per cent to US$27.56 billion.

US investment in China grew rapidly. In 2003, US investors poured an actual investment of US$4.27 billion into 2,553 projects in China.

By the end of 2003, US investors had invested US$30 billion in the Chinese mainland, covering such areas as machinery, oil, electronics, telecommunications, chemicals, auto and pharmaceuticals.

"But compared with our efforts, the US Government has not done enough," said Yu.

Yu complained that the complicated visa application process, which requires fingerprints, has frustrated the enthusiasm of investors for the United States.

And the US Government has failed to do enough to promote exports to the Chinese mainland and encourage Chinese investors to start businesses in the United States.

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