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China's Reform Energizes the World
Source: http://www.news.cn/
Source Date: Thursday, November 07, 2013
Focus: ICT for MDGs, Institution and HR Management
Country: China
Created: Nov 12, 2013

As the Chinese economy firms with recent upbeat data, analysts expect a reform package to be unveiled in a key plenum this weekend to bring changes not only to China but to reinvigorate the global economy, which has been in a slow recovery.

Official surveys showed the purchasing managers index (PMI) for the manufacturing and service sectors rose to the highest level of the year in October, a further sign of a stabilizing economy after China's economic growth picked up to 7.8 percent in the third quarter.

The news came ahead of the much-anticipated Third Plenary Session of the 18th Communist Party of China Central Committee, to be held from Nov. 9 to 12, when Chinese leaders will lay out comprehensive reform plans to shape China's economic development over the next five to ten years.

Upcoming reforms in China have attracted much attention as the world is concerned about whether China will continue to make new and sustainable contributions to global development, according to Zhuang Jian, an economist at the Asian Development Bank.

"The health of the future Chinese economy will lay the groundwork for those contributions," Zhuang said.

Data from the International Monetary Fund showed China contributed 29.8 percent of the world's net economic growth between 2008 and 2012. Partly hit by sluggish external demand, the country's economy expanded only 7.8 percent last year, the slowest pace since 1999.

The next round of reforms should try to eradicate factors that hold the country back from growing sustainably, said Zhuang, citing problems including an over-reliance on investment and exports and unwise use of resources.

Zhuang's words tallied with those of Premier Li Keqiang, who reiterated that China's reform had entered a critical period when addressing a group of foreign members of the 21st Century Council in Beijing on Saturday.

Efforts should be made to overcome deep-rooted obstacles and push forward structural reforms, said Li, adding that fiscal reform, financial reform, price reform and reform within enterprises will all deepen.

Zhang Liqun, an analyst with the Development Research Center of the State Council, said the reforms will transform China's growth into a higher-level, lower cost and more sustainable growth pattern.

Accordingly, China's contribution to the world can be expected to grow in quality and efficiency, said Zhang.

In October, the Chinese central bank signed currency swap agreements totaling 350 billion yuan (57 billion U.S. dollars) with the European Central Bank in hopes of boosting bilateral trade, economic development and strengthening financial stability, a sign of the growing influence of the Chinese currency.

Various energy and environmental solutions have also been unveiled this year to improve China's energy structure, tackle overcapacity and boost new and emerging industries, which could help achieve cleaner and more sustainable growth.

In September, China announced a 1.75-trillion-yuan plan to curb air pollution in the next five years. Zhuang Jian said such efforts are in line with global trends and developments and are beneficial to neighboring countries as well.

Zhao Yumin, an analyst from the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation (CAITEC), said the past three decades of reform and opening up had taught China that it should actively integrate itself into the world economy.

Zhao said the newly established China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ) is a key market-oriented reform, with a package of policy experiments in trade, investment, governance, and the financial and service sectors.

The CAITEC analyst said she expects the government to build a domestic market with competition and rule of law through the upcoming reform plans, while a macro-economic policy would be reinforced to guard against possible external risks.

Zhang Liqun also affirmed the significance of the Shanghai Pilot FTZ, anticipating that reform measures in the zone could exert influence on a broader scale and bring China's economic system up to international standards.

"As China connects with the world in greater depth, more contributions can be expected," Zhang said.

In one of the latest highlights of the government's administrative reform, the State Council decided last week to streamline the corporate registration system to ease market access and mobilize social resources, which analysts believe is a concrete step in improving China's business climate. 

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