China should strive to achieve stable and relatively rapid economic growth in 2009 by stimulating domestic demand, stepping up industrial restructuring and deepening the reform and opening up policy, said People's Daily on Thursday in a commentary on an annual high-profile central economic conference.
At the three-day meeting, which closed on Wednesday, the leadership of the country made it a top concern to maintain rapid economic growth in the coming new year.
"The ultimate goal for economic development is to improve people's lives," said the paper, known as the mouthpiece of the Communist Party of China.
While hailing the economic achievement the country has achieved despite a slowing economy both at home and abroad, as well as domestic natural disasters earlier this year, the paper urged the nation to prepare fully for future challenges.
"With the global financial crisis spreading fast, a larger-than-expected economic slowdown has already become a major block to the country's development," said the commentary.
China's GDP slowed to 9 percent in the first three quarters of this year from 11.4 percent in 2007, still reflecting a relatively rapid growth.
Enlarging domestic demand was listed as a fundamental way to boost the economy, as urbanization and industrialization in the country was expected to create huge potential market demand.
"It's important for China to realize consumption-oriented economic growth," the paper noted.
At the same time, the country must place equal importance on the quality and speed of its development, it said.
The article advised the country to seek new growth potential and a more competitive edge through industrial restructuring and balanced urban and rural development, among others.
"We must attach more importance to rural development amid current difficulties in the economic sector," said the paper. It noted an enhanced agricultural industry and income increase for farmers serve as the key to boosting the rural market, whose development had lagged behind compared to its urban counterpart.
With efforts to boost domestic demand, the commentary stressed the importance to keep stable export growth for economic advance.
The latest statistics, released on Wednesday, showed China's exports totaled 115 billion U.S. dollars in November, down 2.2 percent year-on-year in the first monthly decline since June 2001.
"The most important thing is to let people benefit from the country's economic development," the paper pointed out in its commentary.
The article listed multiple measures the government had been working on to improve people's livelihood, including improving employment, establishing a sound social insurance system for both rural and urban residents and giving more financial aid to low-income families.
Improving food and medicine quality as well as work safety are also among the governmental agenda set for next year.
"To stimulate domestic economic growth is of great significance for China to overcome the impact of the global financial crisis and keep a healthy and stable social development," the paper said.