China’s GDP growth to reach 6.5% in 2017: economist

By Qiang Wei from People’s Daily


A biggest highlight of China’s 2017 government work report is to illustrate the country’s confidence in its economy, a renowned economist told the People’s Daily, saying that China has the capability to realize the growth target.


Justin Yifu Lin, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, said that though quite a number of international and domestic challenges still lay ahead, the around 6.5 percent target is attainable this year.


“Chinese people have the courage, ingenuity and ability to overcome any difficulty or hardship, and the Chinese economy possesses potential, resilience, and strengths,” he gave the reasons behind the conclusion by citing the words of the report.


“China is the fastest growing economy in the world, and contributes more than 30 percent to world economic expansion each year,” he said.


In 2012, Lin had predicted that China has the potential to keep growing at 8 percent for 20 years starting from 2008. His forecast was doubted by some economists after China slowed down its growth in recent years.


Lin, also Honorary Dean at the National School of Development at Peking University, explained that there must be difference between potential and reality, citing the trees as an example.


Even belonging to the same species, some trees well-nourished will tap their full potential and grow taller than their peers, the economist elaborated.


Economic growth relies on continuous increase of labor productivity driven by technological innovation and industrial upgrade, but China lags behind the developed nations in this aspect, Lin pointed out.


“As a medium developed country, China enjoys its own advantages as a latecomer. Some latecomers in similar conditions indeed posted an annual 8 percent to 9 percent growth in 20 years. So China has the possibility to realize the growth rate,” the scholar continued.


“But obstructed by a weak recovery of world economy since the outbreak of financial crisis in 2008, the growth potential of China is not fully leveraged,” Lin added.


He said that his judgment was based on analysis of essential factors. “Most people are pessimists, so someone described me as an optimist. But I in fact belong to an objective faction,” Lin added.

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