The head of China’s top economic planning body
said yesterday that the economic growth target of around 6.5 percent set
for 2017 is both “necessary and attainable.”
The target was necessary as job creation was an important task for China, He Lifeng, head of the National Development and Reform Commission, said at a press conference on the sidelines of the national legislature’s annual session.
“According to our experience, each 1 percentage point of GDP growth will help create about 1.7 million jobs,” he said.
Without quality growth at a reasonable level, China would find it hard to meet the job creation target of over 11 million, unveiled in a government work report delivered by Premier Li Keqiang on Sunday.
China also needed to realize medium-high growth as it aimed to build a “moderately prosperous society in all respects” by 2020 and faced tasks to improve people’s livelihood.
He expressed his confidence in meeting the GDP target, citing healthy growth last year and deepening reform that improved economic environment.
He also said yesterday that China had invested more than US$50 billion in countries along the Belt and Road since the nation proposed the initiative in 2013. Belt and Road had won support from more than 100 countries and international organizations, with nearly 50 cooperation agreements signed between governments, He said, adding progress was “better than expected.”
Meanwhile, China would take further steps to support private investment, an official from the state planner said yesterday, as the country looks to maintain strong economic growth while undergoing structural reforms. NDRC vice chairman Zhang Yong said private investment was steadying and measures taken to boost such spending were showing results.
Zhang added China would lower barriers to entry for private investment, simplify regulation, and further support investment through public private partnership programs.
China is looking to reduce the risks from years of credit-fueled stimulus that are concentrated in the heavily indebted state sector, while also maintaining a high rate of growth.