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China's 5% GDP target in line with govt goals

By Li Lei | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-03-05 15:50

An employee of an engineering equipment manufacturer in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, works on Thursday at the company's production line. YANG BO / CHINA NEWS SERVICE

The 5 percent growth target outlined in the annual Government Work Report is in line with China's aim to create 12 million urban jobs this year and turn itself into a mid-level developed economy by 2035, said head of the report's drafting task force on Tuesday.

While briefing reporters in Beijing shortly after the objective was unveiled, Huang Shouhong, director of the State Council Research Office, who led the drafting process, said the number was decided considering a range of factors, including the domestic and international situations, China's practical needs and all kinds of possibilities.

"There are conditions and basis for us to hit the 5 percent target," he told the news conference organized by the State Council Information Office.

Huang said a certain level of growth rate is needed to create more jobs, raise income levels and defuse risks.

Citing employment as an example, he said: "China is facing a relatively strong pressure to create more than 12 million jobs this year. According to estimates based on the correlation between employment and growth rate, Chinese economy must expand about 5 percent to hit the job target."

Huang noted that the rate is also set with the country's modernization goals in mind. China has pledged to shore up its per capita gross domestic product to a level on a par with a mid-level developed economies, which requires about 5 percent annual growth this year to keep on track.

"China has both confidence and capability to achieve the goal," he said, adding the strengths that have driven past double-digit growth are still there, including a super-large market, complete industrial chain, and highly trained workforce.

"Meanwhile, the new development drivers are growing stronger year after year," he said, citing electric vehicle as an example. In less than two decades, China's EV sector has transformed from almost nothing to an extended sector, whose production capacity and sales volume account now for more than 60 percent of the world.

He said more positive factors are also emerging, such as the fading COVID-19's drag on economy, and progress in fields of real estate sector, local government debt and financial sector.

"All in all, advantages outweigh disadvantages for Chinese economy," he said.

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