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December 22, 2009

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Home » Business » Economy

China sets 8% growth target for year ahead

CHINA has targeted an economic growth rate of 8 percent next year, while industrial production is earmarked to accelerate 11 percent, Minister of Industry and Information Technology Li Yizhong said yesterday.

The country has set the gross domestic product growth target at 8 percent each year since 2005, and has never missed its goal.

However, analysts predicted China's economy could expand about 9 percent next year due to a sound recovery in the world's third-largest economy.

"Based on the central government's target for 8 percent economic growth next year, we are aiming to increase industrial output by 11 percent, which is appropriate for a balanced economy," Li said at a conference broadcast online.

More efforts

Li said his ministry would step up efforts next year on industrial reform in a bid to:

Eliminate outdated and high energy-consuming facilities;

Improve supply structure to expand domestic demand;

Nurture strategic emerging industries to gain new footing in the global market; and

Strengthen support for smaller firms.

The targeted GDP growth next year was short of many economists' predictions.

Li said such a target rate was necessary, within reach and appropriate in line with China's goal of energy conservation and the cutting of greenhouse-gas emissions.

A recent report by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences forecast growth of more than 9 percent next year.

A number of foreign institutions upgraded predictions after observing China's encouraging economic performance in recent months.

The United Nations forecast in a report earlier this month that China's economy would grow 8.8 percent next year, while the projection by the Asian Development Bank was 8.9 percent.

China's GDP jumped 8.9 percent year on year in the third quarter.

A resilient performance in China's manufacturing sector has helped to secure the turnaround.

In the first 11 months, China's industrial production advanced 10.3 percent from a year earlier. In November, the production rocketed 19.2 percent on an annual basis.

But some deep-rooted problems - including excess production capacity, scant bank support for small and medium enterprises and products still at the low end of global value chain - emerged this year.

"Our manufacturing industry has relied too much on exports and is short of core technology to make technically competitive products," Li said.

"Also, growth remains investment-led and policy-driven, generating, in part, the thorny issue of overcapacity."


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