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China's economy will maintain upward growth trajectory this year
China Daily
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China's economy will maintain upward growth trajectory this year

China's economy will maintain its upward growth trajectory this year amid rising trade protectionism and economic uncertainties, with huge potential in rural consumption, manufacturing and opening-up to be further tapped, according to the World Economic Forum.

Chen Liming, chair of Greater China at the WEF, a Switzerland-based international organization, said that China's positive economic outlook remains unchanged in the long term, given the country's massive market advantage, rich talent pool and complete and stable industrial chain.

"China remains a massive consumer market where regional and rural development represent huge opportunities. The country's production and manufacturing systems are still upgrading, which also represents further significant growth," Chen told China Daily in an exclusive interview.

Data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed that China's retail sales — a key gauge of consumer spending — rose 3.7 percent year-on-year in May, while industrial output grew 5.6 percent during the period.

Chen made the remarks ahead of the upcoming 15th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of the New Champions, also known as the Summer Davos Forum, which will be held in Dalian, Northeast China's Liaoning province, from Tuesday to Thursday.

Chen said that more efforts should be made to ensure policies are continuously "stable, transparent and predictable", in order to further stabilize the nation's growth momentum.

"Such sustainable policies are expected to greatly boost the confidence of entrepreneurs, so that growth momentum of vertical industries can be further consolidated," he added.

Chen said he believes that a longer-term path lies in adhering to the country's reform and opening-up agenda, as it improves its socialist market economy. "The market is expected to continue to play a decisive role in resource allocation in the country, which will continue to offer a level playing field and a fair policy environment for all businesses."

For instance, Dalian, where the Summer Davos has been held seven times, has striven to build a new frontier for foreign investment in China's northeastern region, Chen said.

"The city and the province have attracted an increasing number of foreign enterprises by improving the business environment and making it more international, convenient and law-abiding," he said.

In addition, the Summer Davos has provided Liaoning with opportunities for deeper exchanges with the international community and a window for learning new technologies and expertise, according to Chen.

"Dalian city and Liaoning province are also able to showcase their economic development achievements, which will promote the internationalization of their economy," he said.

China has taken steps to expand opening-up, including rolling out national and pilot free trade zone versions of the negative list for cross-border trade in services and simplifying visa applications.

However, the world's second-largest economy has recently faced protectionist measures taken by its major trade partners.

The European Commission has said it will apply additional duties on imported Chinese-made electric vehicles starting next month. The United States has also tried to suppress China's "new three" industries — new energy vehicles, lithium-ion batteries and photovoltaic products — by raising taxes and hyping so-called "overcapacity".

"Using a 'big stick' of sanctions to deal with trade disputes will not yield good results. Trade disputes arise from trade imbalances and should be resolved through dialogue and negotiations," Chen said.

He added that it is obviously due to differences in resource endowment, technological levels and worker skills that some countries have gained more competitive advantages than others, not because of the so-called production or capacity problem.

China DailyGu Yetao

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