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China continues to be key driver of global economy: Experts

File photo of Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photograph:( Agencia EFE )

Reuters Beijing, China Mar 24, 2019, 03.39 PM (IST)

Many attendees to the economic summit of the ongoing China Development Forum are bullish about the Chinese economy and believe that it will continue to be a key driver of the global economy.

The three-day China Development Forum, which opened Saturday, focuses on key issues such as the supply-side structural reform, new measures of proactive fiscal policy, and the opening-up of the financial sector and financial stability.

More than 50 officials from the Chinese central government departments and over 150 overseas delegates have participated in the forum, including 96 executives from the world's leading companies and nearly 30 globally well-known scholars.

China has set its GDP growth target for 2019 at between six per cent and 6.5 per cent, according to the annual Government Work Report delivered by Premier Li Keqiang at the opening meeting of the second session of the 13th National People's Congress in Beijing.

The target is lower than last year's goal of around 6.5 per cent, as the country pursues higher-quality development amid mounting uncertainties in the international economic landscape. And experts believe that China will continue to be a key contributor to the world economic growth.

"Though the target of China's economic growth rate is a little bit lower, the economic quality will improve in exchange. Besides, China's influence on the world economy is still growing. In the past ten years, the Chinese economy contributed about 30 to 50 per cent of the world economic growth. Such a figure was stood at 50 per cent in 2009 and is expected to reach up to 30 per cent this year. So China is still an important impetus for the world economic growth," said Zhu Min, Chairman of the National Institute of Financial Research of Tsinghua University.

"We're always looking for opportunities in China. And so we look at China as very investable, and we have funds available. China will continue to occupy a major growth role in the global economy," said Stephen Allen Schwarzman, CEO of the Blackstone Group, a global private equity firm.

A similar idea is also shared by Liu Shijin, deputy director of the Economic Committee of the National Committee of Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

"China has always been a key force in promoting economic globalisation. That's not only because China has provided the world with more opportunities in trade investment and technology after its opening-up, but also because it will become an important and active force in improving the structure of global governance," said Liu.

Many businessmen also expressed their willingness to invest in China as the country is pursuing high-level opening-up of its financial sector.

"I think China has to be really commended in the way that it's managed that path of economic growth, and it's been very successful as we have seen over really a very long term now. I think as we go forward from here, what's been interesting is to see how many more areas China is willing and indeed leading the way in terms of developing new thinking internally, which has become very attractive to external investors," said Anne Richards, chief executive officer of Fidelity International, a company that provides investment management services.

"We are always investing in the market place, and we do it through a variety of ways. We have a physical location, a massive manufacturing facility, already in place, but we continue to invest through innovation and through building up our partnerships in the market place so that we can increase our approach to the consumers, to the market place and our operational support. So we continue to invest and see great potential in the market here in China. And we are going to do our best to compete in the market place," said Doug DeVos, co-chairman of the board of directors of Amway, one of the world's leading direct selling companies.

Story highlights

The three-day China Development Forum focuses on key issues such as the supply-side structural reform, new measures of proactive fiscal policy, and the opening-up of the financial sector and financial stability.