China to maintain proactive fiscal policy


Maintaining growth: A ship berthed ahead of its cargo of containers being unloaded at the port of Qingdao in north-east China. The country has pledged to maintain the consistency and stability of its macroeconomic policies as its economic recovery gathers pace. — AFP

BEIJING: China will secure positive growth in its economy this year, and the country is aiming to restore its economic development to a reasonable range next year, Premier Li Keqiang said on Tuesday.

In remarks made at a news conference after the Fifth “1+6” Roundtable via video link in Beijing, Li pledged to maintain the consistency and stability of China’s macroeconomic policies and continue with a proactive fiscal policy, prudent monetary policy and an employment first policy going forward.

The government will enhance the consistency and efficacy of macro policies, enrich the policies’ content and refine the mix of policy tools based on the dynamic situation, he said.

Li’s remarks came as China’s economic recovery gathered momentum in recent months, with retail sales growing by 4.3% in October on a yearly basis, up from 3.3% in September, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The purchasing managers index for the manufacturing sector stood at 51.4 in October, marking the eighth consecutive month in which China’s factory activities stayed in expansionary territory, according to the NBS.

Goods export growth rose to 11.4% year-on-year in October and China’s shipments continued to lead the world trade recovery.

Li highlighted the resilience of China’s market players, numbering over 100 million, as the strongest underpinning for the country to cope with difficulties and challenges.

“In the face of the pandemic, the strong resilience displayed by the 100 million plus market entities in China and the Chinese people has provided the strongest underpinning of our economic fundamentals and the biggest source of confidence for China in meeting difficulties and challenges ahead, ” he said.

He attributed the steady recovery of the Chinese economy to parallel efforts to advance reform and opening-up, which energised market entities and unleashed the internal dynamism of the economy.

“By supporting market entities, China will be able to maintain employment, which in turn will generate income and spur consumption necessary for bolstering economic growth, ” Li said.

He noted that Covid-19, unlike the previous economic and financial crises, directly impacted consumption and hit medium, small and micro enterprises (MSMEs) and household businesses heavily, disproportionately affecting the low-income population and people’s basic livelihood.

China has employed market-based approaches to channel policy incentives and resources directly toward market entities to help them, MSMEs and the self-employed in particular, get through difficulties, according to Li.

“Helping the more than 100 million market entities to survive is an effective way to safeguard employment, and by extension boost income and consumption, ” he said.

Li pledged to keep China’s macroeconomic policies consistent and stable and make it more sustainable and effective, and continue to pursue a proactive fiscal policy, prudent monetary policy and pro-employment policy.

“Efforts will be made to flesh out these policies in light of the evolving situation and improve the policy mix. More reforms will be taken to bring economic performance back to the proper range, ” he said. China added 10.09 million new jobs in urban areas in the first 10 months of this year, reaching its preset target for job creation for 2020 two months ahead of schedule. — China Daily/ANN

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