China sets growth target of 5%, but says will be tough

Connie Queline

China sets growth target of 5%, but says will be tough

BEIJING: China aims to achieve 5% economic growth this year, Premier Li Qiang said Tuesday, acknowledging that it will be a challenging goal in difficult times. In his address to the National People’s Congress, Li outlined plans to boost spending on developing advanced technology, fortifying China’s military and supporting the economy, among other goals. But there was no big package of stimulus to boost markets and reassure investors.
Li said govt would continue with a “pro-active fiscal policy and prudent monetary policy,” suggesting no major change in the leadership’s approach to the economy. He unveiled a plan to boost growth by issuing long-term bonds over several years, starting with 1 trillion yuan (about $139 billion) this year. The money would be spent to implement “major national strategies” and fortify security “in key areas,” he said.
“Achieving this year’s targets will not be easy,” Li said, referring to economic growth and other goals including raising incomes, creating 12 million jobs and making the economy more energy efficient in pursuit of climate goals. But he reiterated calls for greater confidence despite challenges, noting the country’s vast market of 1.4 billion people, its advanced manufacturing capacity and massive workforce.

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