GDP growth of 5% achievable

2024-03-07 09:37:26China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

China's economic growth target this year of around 5 percent is achievable via enhanced efforts, and it was set after comprehensive consideration of how to balance current and long-term needs, said the country's top economic regulator at a news conference on Wednesday.

The country's plan to issue ultra-long term special treasury bonds and to promote large-scale equipment replacements will help stabilize growth amid external economic uncertainties and domestic challenges, experts said.

Zheng Shanjie, head of the National Development and Reform Commission, said on the sidelines of the ongoing session of the national legislature that China has the confidence, capabilities and conditions to meet its economic and social development targets for this year.

Zheng said the favorable conditions for China's economic development outweigh the unfavorable factors in 2024, and the upward trend in economic recovery will be further consolidated and strengthened.

Despite anticipated challenges such as a possible more complex external environment and operational difficulties for some enterprises, these problems can be addressed through development, Zheng added.

Zheng said starting this year and over each of the next several years, China will issue ultra-long-term special treasury bonds to implement major national strategies and build up security capacity in key areas.

A total of 1 trillion yuan ($140 billion) of such bonds will be issued in 2024, according to the Government Work Report, which was delivered on Tuesday at the opening of the second session of the 14th National People's Congress, the country's top legislature.

With preliminary considerations, the authorities have decided the funds will mainly support areas including scientific and technological innovation, integrated urban-rural development, coordinated regional development, food and energy security, Zheng said.

Shi Yinghua, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Fiscal Sciences, said the issuance period of ultra-long-term special treasury bonds will be relatively long, which actually alleviates pressures related to short-term repayment obligations.

"This is the latest instance of enriching China's fiscal policy toolkit, which can produce better policy effects," Shi said.

Zhang Liqun, a researcher at the macroeconomic research department of the Development Research Center of the State Council, said 5 percent growth is a positive and achievable target.

"It takes into full consideration the risks and challenges we face this year. It leaves a room for improvement," Zhang said.

Zheng from the NDRC also said China will promote large-scale upgrades and replacements of aging equipment and consumer goods this year.

"Last year, the investment scale of equipment in key areas such as industry and agriculture in China was about 4.9 trillion yuan. With the deepening of high-quality development, demand for equipment replacement will continue to expand, and it is preliminarily estimated to represent a huge market, with an annual scale of over 5 trillion yuan," Zheng added.

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