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Growth target at least 5% sensible: policy advisor

By Zhou Lanxu | | Updated: 2022-11-18 21:12
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A truck loads containers at Tangshan Port, North China's Hebei province, April 16, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

Policy advisors have underlined the urgent need for China to shore up economic growth, proposing to set the country's GDP growth target at no less than 5 percent for the next year.

Liu Shijin, deputy director of the Committee on Economic Affairs of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the country's top political advisory body, said China's economy has grown below its potential growth rate over the past three years, and that this situation should not continue.

As conditions favorable for economic recovery have increased recently, it is advisable to set the country's economic growth target at no less than 5 percent for 2023, Liu said while addressing the 13th Caixin Summit on Friday.

Given a low comparison base in 2022, it is possible for next year's actual growth rate to rebound even higher if the COVID-19 impact fades fast in the first half while growth-stabilization measures work effectively, especially those aimed at expanding reform and opening-up and stabilizing market confidence, he said.

The country should strive for an average annual growth rate of about 5 percent from 2022 to 2023, which would be a necessity for growth stabilization and a key step of the country's modernization drive, Liu said.

Using the forecast that this year's GDP growth may stand at about 3.5 percent, the average annual growth rate of China's economy may come in at below 5 percent from 2020 to 2022, versus its potential growth rate of between 5 percent and 5.5 percent, Liu added.

Echoing Liu's remark, Yang Weimin, a member of the Standing Committee of the CPPCC National Committee, said that the biggest risk facing the country's economic development is an excessively low growth rate.

To bring economic growth back into a more reasonable range, a dynamic balance between multiple policy objectives should be reached, Yang said, adding that it is inappropriate to achieve a certain objective at the expense of sacrificing economic development.

He said it is important to incentivize local government officials by mitigating their concern of being held excessively accountable and vitalize enterprises by increasing policy certainty and stabilizing expectations of the private economy.

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