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Opinion / Editorials

Signs country tapping its growth potential

(China Daily) Updated: 2015-10-09 08:27

In its latest Global Financial Stability Report released on Wednesday, the International Monetary Fund said: "The Chinese authorities face an unprecedented policy challenge in carrying out their objectives to make the transition to a new growth model and a more market-based financial system."

Such a reminder of how serious the country's economic challenges are may not be music to all ears, especially when it comes immediately after a weeklong national holiday.

Yi Gang, deputy governor of the People's Bank of China, was not trying to sweeten the tune when he told the international community "don't worry" after the IMF warned of the risks from China's economic challenges.

The slowest pace of China's growth in about a quarter of a century is a result of both the huge downward pressures levied by domestic economic restructuring and the increasing uncertainties facing the global economy.

Yet, the concurrence of China's economic slowdown and falling commodity prices around the globe does not point to a clear-cut causality justifying concerns that China's slowdown threatens to derail the global economy.

If China presses ahead with its ongoing course of urbanization and industrialization, the country will be able to sustain middle-to-high growth in the near future, ensuring steady growth in Chinese imports of raw materials.

More importantly, if it can make some big strides in boosting consumption-led growth, China will contribute more to global growth with a surge in global consumption of Chinese shoppers rather than another wave of "made in China".

Initial statistics show that during the first seven days of October, the country's sales volume of retail and catering service businesses amounted to 1.08 trillion yuan ($171.75 billion), up 11 percent year-on-year. The growth in the number of Chinese tourists making trips overseas during the holiday was even more remarkable. For instance, 4 million Chinese are visiting Japan this year, an increase of 60 percent over 2014.

The manifested enthusiasm of Chinese consumers to travel and shop is solid evidence that the rise in living standards means consumption-led growth is dawning.

Yet as the widespread holiday traffic jams and reports of overcharging tourists show, Chinese policymakers and businesses still face a huge task in creating an environment conducive to unleashing the full potential of consumers.

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