BIZCHINA> World Reaction
OECD hails stimulus package
By Fu Jing (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-11-17 07:34

China's 4-trillion-yuan ($586 billion) stimulus plan signals not only its concern for its domestic situation but reflects the broader responsibility of a major player in contributing to global economic problem-solving, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has said.

"I welcome China's action to effect a timely, rapid, targeted and generous fiscal stimulus," Angel Gurria, secretary-general of the Paris-based OECD, told China Daily in an email interview yesterday.

China's action represents a speedy reaction to global economic weakness and softer domestic demand, Gurria said. "China's ability to deploy this package is based on the strong fiscal position it has built to date, which allows it to do so without putting public finances under undue duress."

Gurria said October economic indicators, including slower export growth, show that the Chinese economy is not immune to the global economic slowdown, despite the fact that the Chinese banking sector has so far been resilient to the financial shockwaves emanating from Wall Street.

Last week, the OECD's economics team estimated that China's GDP growth would fall to 8 percent next year. This presents a challenging outlook for an economy where double-digit growth rates have been the norm.

The OECD said reforming the value-added tax brings China's fiscal system in line with those in most OECD member countries and should also help stimulate capital formation by private-sector companies.

"All these factors point to a significant boost to imports when the package is implemented, especially from countries that are important suppliers of raw materials to China," Gurria said.

David Dollar, China country director for the World Bank, said the stimulus package would help keep China's growth at a healthy rate, and that in turn will be good for the world economy.

In particular, the investment plans would benefit many developing countries that export to China because the stimulus plan will keep up demand for steel and other metals, he said.

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