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China maintains 8% growth target

CHINA will target an economic growth rate of 8 percent next year, with industrial production accelerating by 11 percent during the period, Minister of Industry and Information Technology Li Yizhong said today.

The country has set gross domestic product growth at 8 percent each year since 2005, and has never missed that goal. But analysts predicted China's economy can expand more than 9 percent in 2010, due to a sound recovery in the world's third largest economy.

"Based on the central government's target for an 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 work conference broadcast online.

China's manufacturing sector has delivered a resilient performance amid the global economic slowdown. In the first 11 months, China's industrial production advanced 10.3 percent from a year earlier.

But some deep-rooted problems remain, including excess production capacity, scant financial aid for small and medium enterprises, and products at the bottom of the global value chain.

"Our manufacturing industry has relied too much on exports, and is short of core technology to make technically competitive products. Also, growth remains investment-led and policy-driven, partly generating the current thorny issue of overcapacity," Li said.

China has closed 16.9 metric tons of obsolete capacity this year as part of an effort to ease domestic oversupply.


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