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7.5% GDP growth rate 'not low'

By Chen Jia (China Daily)

09:21, March 15, 2012

Premier Wen Jiabao said on Wednesday that the 7.5-percent GDP growth target for 2012 cannot be viewed as low.

Wen said that the slower growth fits targets set in the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15).

It can help shift focus on accelerating the transformation of economic development pattern, as well as making growth less polluting and less dependent on natural resources.

"We will make every effort to let ordinary people enjoy more benefits," Wen told a news conference after the conclusion of the annual session of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature.

This year's growth target is down from last year's 8 percent.

Yin Zhongqing, vice-chairman of the NPC's financial and economic committee, said there is no concern about a hard landing for the country's economic growth.

"The downgrading of the annual GDP target can prevent an over-heated economic expansion as in the past few years," Yin said.

Last year, China's GDP increased by 9.2 percent from a year earlier, cooling from 10.4 percent in 2010, mainly because of a sharp decrease in exports caused by the European sovereign debt crisis.

This external factor may continue to influence the world's second-largest economy in the coming years, causing uncertainties for the government's macroeconomic policy, according to Zhang Zhiwei, chief economist in China with Nomura Securities.

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