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Scholars see ample space for further GDP growth

By OUYANG SHIJIA/LIU ZHIHUA | China Daily | Updated: 2024-03-05 08:56
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The skyline of Beijing. [Photo/VCG]

National legislators and political advisers have refuted certain pessimistic narratives regarding the Chinese economy circulated by Western media, asserting that China's economy has not peaked and in fact has ample space for further growth and development.

"I do not agree with the view that China's economy has reached its peak," Tian Xuan, vice-dean of Tsinghua University's PBC School of Finance, said in an exclusive interview with China Daily.

"Though China's economy is not growing as rapidly as before, it is still growing."

Tian, who is also a deputy to the 14th National People's Congress, said China's economy has sustained robust growth despite uncertainties and challenges — in stark contrast to the situations in some other major economies.

China's economy expanded by 5.2 percent in 2023, significantly higher than that of the United States at 2.5 percent, the eurozone at 0.5 percent and Japan's 1.9 percent, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.

He said the final growth rate of the country will be around 5 percent for 2024, indicating better economic performance this year compared to last year, given the low base rate in 2022.

"Such a growth rate would be in line with the laws governing economic development," Tian added. "For a huge economy like China, with a GDP exceeding 100 trillion yuan ($13.9 trillion), maintaining double-digit growth is unrealistic."

Looking ahead, the country has ample policy space to bolster the world's second-largest economy, he said, adding that it is advisable for the country to expand central borrowing.

More efforts are also needed to support the development of the private sector and foster new productive drivers, which will help boost business confidence and inject strong impetus into the economy, he said.

Justin Yifu Lin, dean of Peking University's Institute of New Structural Economics, said China's economy will grow beyond 5 percent this year if the government adopts more proactive fiscal and monetary expansion to stimulate domestic investment and consumption.

"I personally believe it would be possible for China to reach 5-5.5 percent (growth) this year," said Lin, who is also a 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.

Looking ahead, Lin said that the nation's potential annual growth rate in the coming decade could be 8 percent or higher, rebutting theories that economic growth will continue to drop due to such factors as demographic changes and the so-called balance sheet recession, as experienced by Japan.

Multinational companies also reaffirmed their commitment to the China market, expressing optimism about the country's economic prospects.

"I believe that China will maintain its economic growth and remain a key contributor to global economic recovery in 2024," said Marc Horn, president of Merck China. "In the mid and long run, I am optimistic that China's economy will largely benefit from the current ongoing economic reforms, which target a Chinese path to modernization driven by industrial upgrading, high-tech development and green initiatives."

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