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Premier Wen says "stabilizing growth" is top priority


08:27, July 11, 2012

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (L) speaks during a meeting on the economic situation in Beijing, capital of China, July 9, 2012. Wen Jiabao presided over two meetings with representatives from research institutes and companies on the economic situation on Monday and Tuesday respectively in Beijing. (Xinhua/Xie Huanchi)

BEIJING, July 10 (Xinhua) -- Premier Wen Jiabao said Tuesday that stabilizing economic growth is the most pressing matter currently facing China.

Policies and measures to stabilize economic growth currently include boosting consumption, diversifying exports and promoting investment, Wen said while meeting representatives from research institutes and companies on Monday and Tuesday.

The emphasis on investment to shore up growth comes as the world's second-largest economy is being challenged with slumping external demand and low consumption at home.

Wen said the structure, quality and cost-effectiveness of investment should be given greater importance, adding that investment should be used to improve livelihoods and help the country develop scientifically.

China customs said Tuesday that exports rose 11.3 percent year on year to 180.21 billion U.S. dollars in June, slowing from 15.3 percent in May. Imports increased 6.3 percent to 148.48 billion U.S. dollars, also down from the 12.7-percent growth registered a month earlier.

"As a developing nation, China needs to maintain a certain level of economic growth so as to provide a foundation for economic and social development, as well as the improvement of people's livelihoods," the premier said.

The country's economic growth expanded 8.1 percent in the first quarter of the year, marking the slowest quarterly growth in almost three years. Statistical authorities are scheduled to release economic growth data for the second quarter on Friday, with analysts expecting a growth rate of 7.5 percent.

Wen reiterated the government's priority of stabilizing growth after the State Council, or China's Cabinet, first talked of prioritizing growth stability in May amid fears of decelerating growth in the coming months.

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