China's economy stable: Davos founder

Updated: 2013-09-11 10:46


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DALIAN, China - Though facing a slowdown, China's overall economy is getting on the right track, said Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum.

However, to avoid losing steam, China should replace its largely cash-driven growth engine with a more innovation- and quality-driven one, Schwab told Xinhua in a recent written interview.

"I first visited China in 1979 at the invitation of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and have returned here every year," he said. "What has struck me most about China since then is the incredible transformation the country has undergone."

Schwab established a solid relationship with China in 2007 when he launched Summer Davos, an annual high-level meeting of the world's political, business and social leaders. China has played host to the event alternately in the port cities of Tianjin and Dalian.

This year's Summer Davos, also known as the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of the New Champions, will take place from Wednesday to Friday with more than 1,600 participants from all over the world under the theme of "Meeting the Innovation Imperative."

"We are entering a new era of economic growth where we are needed to build a world in which the quality of life, and not just the quantity of production, is at the center of our activities," Schwab said.

He said China, the world's largest emerging market, has sped toward a new phase where the country should invest "in the drivers of future economic growth" to incorporate greater social inclusion and environmental sustainability into economic decision-making, and build "a robust and well-functioning innovation ecosystem."

"We need to put China's recent slowdown into perspective," Schwab said. "Its overall macroeconomic situation is good -- inflation is down; the budget deficit is moderate; and its public debt-to-GDP ratio is among the lowest in the world. China's staying power in the top 30 of our Global Competitiveness Index is a tremendous achievement."

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