What are the trends of China's economy in 2009? What opportunities can be found amid the crisis? Xinhua reporter recently had an interview with noted economist Li Yining, who is also the vice director of the Economic Commission of the CPPCC.
Economy expected to reach 8 percent growth rate
Li Yining said that whether China can achieve 8 percent economic growth this year depends on two factors: the successful boost of domestic demand and the development of the global economic situation. If both investment and consumption rise, it is absolutely possible to "assure an 8 percent growth rate."
Currently, there are uncertainties in the global economic situation, and it is not appropriate to place too much hope in exports.
"Since our problems are not as complicated as foreign countries, China is concentrating its main efforts on the expansion of its domestic demand which will foster future growth potential."
Even though the economic situation is not optimal, the general public is convinced that the government will improve the economy, Li noted.
Moreover, efforts are being made to implement four trillion yuan of investment. The government is also helping migrant rural workers and graduates find jobs. The people are confident in the effectiveness of the measures.
The international financial crisis has brought two major challenges upon China: one is the economic slowdown and the other is the growth of the unemployed population.
However, at the same time, these two major challenges are accompanied by two major opportunities: the opportunity to promote industry upgrades and economic restructuring, and the opportunity to create a more skilled workforce.
"Stabilizing economic growth while accelerating the promotion of independent innovation, industry upgrades and economic restructuring, will not only result in the rebound of economic growth, but also improve economic quality. On the other hand, wasting no time in improving the skills of the workforce and introducing more talents in various fields will assist enterprises in meeting greater challenges in the future," Li said.
Solving the unemployment problem is the most pressing task
Affected by factors such as the slowdown of economic growth, the unemployment situation in 2009 will be quite severe. At present, "assuring economic growth" and "assuring employment" have become society's main concerns.
On this point, Li made an analysis from the perspective of economic cycles. He pointed out that, according to economic laws, periods of economic growth are usually followed shortly by periods of employment growth. At present, evidence indicates that the economy is improving, but unemployment has not yet stopped dropping.
China had set an annual goal of creating 10 million new jobs in 2008, and the actual number of new jobs created reached 11.13 million. However, this year the government has adjusted the goal to 9 million. "It is not an easy job to accomplish this goal, but the government is working proactively to find a way," Li said.
Li offered his views on solutions to the unemployment problem. He pointed out that in the long run, China should blaze a trail of capital-intensive and technology-intensive economic development, but the view that "labor-intensive enterprises are low in efficiency and should not be given prominence" is totally false. At present, special assistance should be granted to labor-intensive enterprises so that they can create more jobs.
Moreover, Li suggested that opportunities should be given to migrant rural workers who return from coastal areas to inland areas to start their own businesses. For instance, small loans should be granted to encourage them to start small enterprises or workshops according to their professional specialties. This kind of initiative may be more effective in creating jobs than simply accelerating the construction of infrastructure facilities.
By People's Daily Onine