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Meeting plan target 'difficult'
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08:24, December 25, 2008

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The global financial crisis would make it difficult for the country to achieve its economic targets for 2006-10, which were set when the world economy had a positive outlook, a senior official said yesterday.

Zhang Ping, minister of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said the global economic downturn posed a "serious challenge" to the country, especially its efforts to realize the social and economic goals set in the 11th Five-Year (2006-10) Plan.

"We have done a good job in 2006 and 2007 but the worsening global financial crisis poses a serious challenge to us in achieving our goals," Zhang said.

He made the remarks while reporting to the National People's Congress Standing Committee how the State Council would fight the financial crisis to realize "stable and relatively fast" economic growth.

In 2006-07, the economy grew at an average rate of 11.8 percent. But the economy slowed down to 9.9 percent in the first three quarters of this year, and from July to September it grew only 9 percent.

Earlier this month, Zhang had said that the country faced "worse-than-expected" risks of an economic slowdown because of the global downturn, and it was "still very hard" to say when the worst would be over.

Since global economic woes have taken a heavy toll on the country the government has lowered its annual economic growth for next year to 8 percent.

But mid-term assessment shows the government has fulfilled most of the Five-Year Plan targets, Zhang said.

The government has basically met the annual targets of employment, trade and urbanization during the mid-term assessment.

But, he said, the country had failed to realize the goals of energy saving, emission control and economic restructuring in the past two years.

The government has set a goal to reduce energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product by 20 percent from 2006 to 2010. But it could cut only 1.79 percent and 3.66 percent in 2006 and 2007.

Source: China Daily

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