Premier Li vows to deepen reform
Updated: 2013-10-01 01:22
By DING QINGFEN (China Daily)
Li is confident that nation will achieve sustainable growth
China remains committed to deepening reforms in the pursuit of long-term and sustainable economic growth despite the difficulties and challenges ahead, Premier Li Keqiang said on Monday.
"China is at a crucial stage of economic restructuring and upgrading, and faces many difficulties and challenges," he said.
President Xi Jinping (center) and Premier Li Keqiang (left), along with other State leaders, propose a toast at a reception on Monday to mark the 64th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, which falls on Oct 1.[Xu Jingxing / China Daily ]
But "we will overcome those difficulties and challenges to deepen reform across the board for long-term, sustainable and sound economic growth and social progress".
Li's remarks came at a reception in Beijing to mark the 64th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China and a day after the formal opening of Shanghai free trade zone, which has been hailed as potentially the boldest reform move in decades.
Amid intensified global economic downturn, China's economy slowed down in some quarters before stabilizing over the past few months.
"The Chinese economy, while maintaining overall stability, has shown good momentum for further growth," Li said. "We have the confidence, conditions and ability to meet the main targets projected for our economic and social development this year."
The government has set a growth target of 7.5 percent for 2013. And since early this year, it has stepped up efforts to prevent a sharp economic slowdown by rolling out a series of reforms.
"We have taken the transformation of government functions as an area where a breakthrough can be made in deepening reform," Li said. "We have redoubled our efforts to introduce reform measures in fiscal, taxation, banking, investment and financial areas in a timely and orderly manner."
The government has also expedited the pace of investment in railways and public housing construction, and introduced measures to help small companies. Recent data show some of the efforts are yielding results.
China's factory output in August hit a 17-month high with retail sales growing at the fastest pace this year. Profits earned by industrial companies in August were up 24.2 percent year-on-year, more than double the rate in July, according to government data.
Looking ahead, Li emphasized that "development is our top priority" and China "will accelerate the shift in (the economic) growth model, intensify economic restructuring and make vigorous efforts to boost domestic demand".
The government pledges to transform its economic development model during the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15) period, making the national economy more dependent on domestic consumption as global demand for Chinese exports and manufacturing decreases because of the still floundering global economy.
Li said the government will accord priority to creation of jobs. "The ultimate purpose of development is to improve the well-being of the people," he said.
"We will always make employment the top priority, step up our efforts to develop social undertakings, such as education, medical care, public health and cultural projects, meet people's basic needs, strengthen weak links in the social safety net and ensure that all the people, even the poorest, have something to fall back on," he said.
"We will build a clean and law-based government, promote equity in education, employment and business startups."