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Resilience in economy hailed

Experts welcome Beijing's emphasis on growth and balanced development

By EDITH MUTETHYA in Nairobi, Kenya and YANG WANLI in Bangkok | China Daily Global | Updated: 2024-03-11 09:19

A view of Beijing's CBD area. [Photo/VCG]

China's economy has a stable structural foundation and possesses the necessary resilience to withstand external shocks, and it is heartening to see its emphasis on growth and supporting the economy this year, global experts said.

Premier Li Qiang delivered the Government Work Report to the National People's Congress on Tuesday, and disclosed major targets for this year's development, including a GDP growth of around 5 percent. He also outlined major tasks for this year, including striving to modernize the industrial system and developing new quality productive forces at a faster pace, invigorating China through science and education, and continuing to deepen reform and pursuing higher-standard opening up.

Charles Onunaiju, director of the Centre for China Studies in Abuja, Nigeria, said that China again demonstrates that the structured foundation of its economy is stable and sufficiently resilient to withstand external shocks.

China maintained the momentum of growth at 5.2 percent last year and is projected to continue on this trajectory, according to the report. The steady and stable trajectory of the Chinese economy, with the aim being to create more than 12 million new jobs in urban areas, demonstrates the soundness of its fundamentals, Onunaiju said.

Moving forward, China would accelerate endeavors in research on disruptive and frontier technologies, thereby putting science, technology and education at the forefront of its modernization drive, he said.

"The forward-looking and prospects of China's economy in the coming years give concrete expression to China as a major power with a high sense of understanding of its responsibility to the world, especially in maintaining and supporting global recovery and balanced development that delivers win-win outcomes to the world," Onunaiju said.

Xn Iraki, an associate professor in the University of Nairobi's Faculty of Business and Management Sciences, said the focus on disruptive and frontier technologies would make China a leader in areas such as artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, space technology, quantum computing, and genetics among others.

The focus on such technologies and innovations could help China achieve its targeted economic growth. That would also ensure more jobs, and social stability and that China gives a boost to the rest of the world with its growth, Iraki said.

Confidence demonstrated

Rhys Whalley, executive director of Manchester China Forum in England, said that it is encouraging to see the prioritization of growth and supporting the economy, something that will undoubtedly be welcomed both domestically and within the wider international community. China's economic growth target for the year demonstrates both the leadership's ambition and its confidence, he said.

Perhaps most important for overseas observers was the Chinese government's commitment to the further opening up of markets to foreign companies. Given the continued global economic malaise and the challenges in stimulating post-pandemic recovery, the implementation of practical measures that serve to enhance the operating environment for foreign businesses in the Chinese mainland will undoubtedly be welcomed among leaders of foreign-owned enterprise, Whalley said.

Such measures will serve to reassure both existing and future investors, and serve to support ambitions around creating a more stable, transparent and predictable policy environment; underpinning long-term ambitions to transform its economy, Whalley added.

Varut Kanchanapattana, treasurer of the Association of Thai Travel Agents, said that according to the report, the country will make it easier for foreign nationals to work, study and travel in China.

"This is encouraging information for Thai people because many Thai students are looking for chances to study in China and China is among the top popular travel destinations among Thai people," said Varut.

He also spoke highly of the agreement on mutual visa exemption between China and Thailand that came into force on March 1 for holders of ordinary passports and passports for public affairs.

Xing Yi in London and Chen Yingqun in Beijing contributed to this story.

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