China's economy will maintain its momentum over the next five years, with GDP growing at around 9.5 percent annually, a leading economist was quoted as saying on Monday's Shanghai Securities News.
Qi Jianguo, an economist with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, backed up his claim by pointing to several factors. The first was the fact that China has entered an age of mass consumption, with constantly rising living standards, leading to greater consumption and sustained economic growth.
Secondly, ongoing urbanization requires more infrastructure and commercial housing. In the next five years some 15 million farmers will migrate to cities annually, generating huge investment needs.
The third factor is advanced foreign technologies as well as domestic technological innovation, backed up by sharply rising state investment. These will be a powerful force for economic growth.
Other reasons include China's burgeoning foreign trade, employment pressures and government efforts to narrow the disparity between urban and rural areas and different regions.
The Chinese government's planned growth rate for the 11th five-year plan (2006-2010) period is an annual average of 7.5 percent, while the National Bureau of Statistics expects growth to reach 8.5 percent, according to statistics it released at the end of last year.