|Premier Li Keqiang chats with John Lawson Thornton, chairman of the board of the Brookings Institution (left), Canadian educationist Isabel Crook and other foreign experts at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Tuesday. FENG YONGBIN /CHINA DAILY|
"What China has achieved in its reform and opening-up should be attributed not only to the hard work of the Chinese people, but also to the wisdom and painstaking efforts of the foreign experts," Li said during a meeting.
"The Chinese people will never forget this," he said.
Apart from expressing his gratitude to the overseas experts, Li also sought their ideas on China's economic development and urbanization.
He also briefed his 70-plus foreign guests on the latest economic situation.
Li said the government has always made developing the economy and improving people's livelihoods a priority for its work.
China achieved its annual goals for economic and social development set at the start of last year thanks to its efforts in maintaining growth, on reform and in improving economic restructuring, he said.
Despite the slow global economic recovery and downside pressure domestically, China saw its gross domestic product grow by 7.7 percent last year.
This "was no easy task" given the huge base of the world's second-largest economy, Li said.