China cabinet calls for more effort on economic reform

China cabinet calls for more effort on economic reform

BEIJING - China's cabinet called for greater effort in revamping the economy because a recovery is not yet solid, seeking quicker progress on restructuring industry and increasing consumption while guarding against risk and protecting people's livelihoods.

In a statement issued on Sunday following a meeting on Friday, the State Council reiterated that China could meet its economic targets for this year, including growth of 7.5 per cent, though the domestic and international situation remains complex.

The Council said it had streamlined administration, and had taken measures to liberalise interest rates and facilitate trade and investment in the world's second-largest economy.

It noted it had done this without increasing government deficits or changing monetary policy, and called on authorities at all levels to accelerate changes in the way they work to make sure that reform isn't held back by official inertia.

"When the economy is under downward pressure we should strengthen our confidence, when it is steady and on an improving trend, we should also keep a clear mind," the Council said.

China's US$8.5 trillion (S$10.53 trillion) economy grew at its fastest pace this year between July and September in a rebound fuelled largely by investment, although signs are already emerging the pick-up in activity may lose some vigour.

The government wants to transform the economy into one driven by consumption rather than investment, and has said it will accept slower growth while it pushes through its reforms.

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