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China needs new growth model
Updated: 2006-01-27 09:04

China, which grew by 9.9 percent in 2005, must stimulate domestic demand to reduce its reliance on exports to drive growth, according to economics attending the World Economic Forum in Davos.

"China needs to redirect its growth model more to private consumption," said Stephen S. Roach, Chief Economist of Morgan Stanley at a plenary session on China's integration into the global economy.

"The process of reform, transformation and growth is now at a very important juncture. There's potentially a very important turning point that is close at hand," he added.

While many Chinese companies are going global by making strategic investments and acquisitions abroad, they must balance this with an inward-looking approach aimed at increasing business and developing the home market.

"This would be a more sustainable model," Roach argued.

The issue of the quality and sustainability of China's economic growth is a major focus of discussion at the five-day annual meeting in Davos.

In a special address on late Wednesday, Chinese Vice-Premier Zeng Peiyan declared that China would stimulate domestic consumption to drive new growth over the next five years.

In another session, Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People's Bank of China, acknowledged that it would be difficult to convince Chinese people to spend more.

He said that China should accelerate reforms in pension, medical and educational systems to reduce its higher-than-normal savings rate and encourage people to spend overseas.

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