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People's Daily Online>>China Business

Economic reforms key to maintaining growth

By Wang Xiaotian and Xie Yu (China Daily)

09:27, March 14, 2012

Editor's note: There's no better time to raise questions than the NPC/CPPCC sessions, which bring together China's top policymakers. China Daily asks experts from different countries what they wish they could ask the members and deputies about topical issues. Reporters Wang Xiaotian and Xie Yu gather the answers.

Eswar Prasad, the Tolani senior professor of trade policy at Cornell University and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, would like to ask how China can maintain momentum on market-oriented reforms.

China needs to make overall arrangements from the top level to promote economic reforms to cross the "deep water", said Li Yining, deputy director of the economic committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

The current economic development has been much different from the years when the late leader, Deng Xiaoping, delivered his speech during his tour of South China, so the old ways China used years ago need to be changed, he said.

"It is not like crossing the river by feeling the stones. Today the water is too deep for us to touch any stones."

If economic reform is carried out properly and potential is released, China will be capable of maintaining an 8 percent growth in GDP for another 20 years, said Zheng Xinli, deputy director of the CPPCC's economic committee and former deputy director of the Communist Party of China's Policy Research Office.

Zheng said although the country lowered its expectation for GDP growth this year, it does not mean that the potential for economic growth has been lowered. China still has great potential in market demand, capital, technology innovation, labor and land.

"Reforms should be carried out in the financial system, to better support small and medium-sized enterprises," Zheng said, adding that it is a must to adopt interest-rate liberalization and allow private capital to set up financial institutions.

Both are unlikely to happen this year, he said, adding that economic reform faces big resistance from interest groups.

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