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China's economy in good shape for year ahead

(Xinhua)    14:05, February 05, 2019

BEIJING, Feb. 4 (Xinhua) -- China's strong consumption momentum and ample potential for investment could have a major upside for global economic growth in 2019 when observers are raising the risk of a further slowdown.

Some economists have overblown the spillover effect of China's economic slowdown, but such kind viewpoints hold no water and are misleading.

STRONG CONSUMPTION MOMENTUM

China is shifting its economy toward a more sustainable growth model that draws strength from consumption, services and innovation, which means big chances for countries who can provide quality products and services.

Consumption is expected to contribute to 65 percent of China's economic growth in 2019 and remain the largest contributor, with an expected 9-percent increase in total retail sales of consumer goods, said Wang Bin, deputy director of the Department of Market Operation and Consumption Promotion of the Ministry Of Commerce (MOC) at a recent meeting.

China's strong consumption momentum is a blessing for the world.

A case in point is that during the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) held in Shanghai from Nov. 5-10 in 2018, deals worth about 57.83 billion U.S. dollars were made, benefiting 3,617 foreign exhibitors and more than 400,000 buyers from home and abroad.

The second CIIE scheduled for November 2019 will be better than last year's session, with further opening-up measures. Shanghai will put into practice 100 measures to support further opening up this year. According to the CIIE bureau, more than 500 companies from more than 40 countries and regions have confirmed participation in the 2019 CIIE.

Chinese authorities last month pledged an array of measures to boost consumption as part of the efforts to support the economy.

Optimizing market supply and increasing consumption are playing a greater role in effectively coping with downward pressure on the economy and maintaining stable growth, said a statement released after a teleconference held by the National Development and Reform Commission, the MOC and the State Administration for Market Regulation.

The meeting vowed to encourage consumption of automobiles and electrical home appliances according to local situations, providing greater policy support where conditions permit, and meet demand for green, smart automobiles and home appliances.

The supply of high-quality products and services will be increased, and residents' spending power will be strengthened with measures such as special individual income tax deductions.

AMPLE POTENTIAL FOR INVESTMENT

With stable debt levels, China has more room for effective investments to shore up growth, while a better environment for foreign investors is also foreseeable as the country opens up further to the world.

As most of China's debt is priced in local currency, and the debt owed by strategic sectors are often backed up by the central government, it is unlikely a financial crisis will occur, said Credit Suisse in its report on investment outlook for 2019.

With stable economic growth and easier market access, China bucked the global foreign direct investment slide in 2018, as the largest investment recipient in the world.

In 2019, foreign businesses are set to reap more benefits from China's continued efforts to widen market access and build a better business environment.

One of the highlights will be a unified foreign investment law that aims to adopt a model of pre-established national treatment with a negative list and strengthened protection of property rights for companies with foreign investments.

The law will be submitted to the upcoming plenary session of the National People's Congress, which is scheduled to open on March 5.

Although the world is witnessing rising trade protectionism, the Chinese government supports an open and inclusive world economy, makes effort to broaden market access, eases foreign equity restrictions and lowers import tariffs.

China's reform momentum has remained unabated. Over the past five years, the country has held at least 45 high-profile meetings on advancing reforms, during which 400 documents and 1,932 reform plans have been launched.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Bianji, Hongyu)

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