Chinese premier says Beijing can control financial risks

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Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R) meets with Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who is here to attend the Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2017, also known as Summer Davos, in Dalian, coastal city of northeast China's Liaoning Province, June 27, 2017.

In order to facilitate foreign investment, the government will relax market access to the services and manufacturing sectors, Li said.

China wants foreign companies to continue generating profits in the country and reinvesting them, added Li.

In January, President Xi Jinping made a rare appearance at the Swiss resort town, paying tribute to globalisation and free trade, days before Donald Trump's inauguration as United States president - in contrast to Trump's "America first" approach.

In the first three months of the year China expanded by a better-than-expected 6.9 per cent, raising hopes the economy was stabilising.

China wants to maintain medium- to high-speed economic growth over the long term, as "no development is the biggest risk for China", Li said, noting that the economy's sheer size made it harder to rack up high growth rates.

China will continue to propel its supply-side structural reform, streamline administration, delegate power to lower levels, grant easier market access, push forward entrepreneurship and innovation, downsize saturated sectors, and stimulate consumption, he said. Growth by at least 3% is more than adequate for economies boasting a GDP of $2 trillion or more, the premier said, hinting that China's growth could slow to 3-4% in the future. Beijing is working to gradually resolve those hazards, he said. "We are fully capable of achieving the main economic targets for the full year", Li said.

Li stressed the importance of job creation, and noted that while new technologies such as artificial intelligence and robotics could cause job losses, those are offset by growth sectors such as e-commerce, mobile payments and bike-sharing.

The premier also affirmed Beijing's pledge to stick to its commitments on climate change, another area where it has split with Washington following Trump's withdrawal from the Paris climate treaty.

With executives of foreign companies such as International Business Machines Corp. and McKinsey & Co.in the audience, Li addressed the concern that stricter capital controls the nation implemented to keep its currency steady will restrict companies to move their profits out of the border.

"Countering climate change is the common responsibility of the global community", he said.

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