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Foreign experts, scholars laud China’s 2015 govt work report

Updated: Mar 6,2015 4:30 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — Overseas experts and scholars have positively commented on the government work report delivered by Premier Li Keqiang on March 5 at the opening of a National People’s Congress (NPC) session.

The annual sessions of the NPC, the top legislature, kicked off on March 5.

The sessions will hear reports on the overall condition of the nation, chart its agenda for 2015 and outline the country’s foreign policies. It is also an opportunity for the world to watch the oriental country.

Positively commenting on the government work report, overseas experts and scholars focused on such key words as economic reform and the slowdown of the GDP growth target.

Bethwel Kinuthia, an economist at the University of Nairobi, said that the work report formulated a blueprint for China’s development in 2015, and set many targets covering various aspects of social life, including narrowing the gap between the rich and the poor, pollution control and youth employment.

“I believe the future of China’s growth is quite promising in the years to come, as long as the government puts the plans into action,” said Kinuthia.

Meanwhile, the economist said the Chinese government will also face many challenges in its economic growth such as global market fluctuations and terrorism.

Hoster Leocher, a China expert of Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, spoke highly of the Premier’s government work report, saying China is taking the right path in its economic reform, which complies with the historical trend.

The China expert said he was impressed by the openness and honesty of Li’s work report.

“The work report prefers to face the problems and difficulties in China’s economic growth instead of avoiding them, and it specifies reform initiatives it will take in the future in a bid to speed up its growth,” said Leocher.

“It seems to me that China is managing to make its market more flexible, which is a wise move, as it will help its economy become more resilient,” Leocher added.

The expert believed that the work report has sent a positive message that China is trying to transform its “quantity-oriented” growth mode into a “quality-oriented” one, and the country’s financial system will also become more flexible.

Leocher also pointed out that China’s economy has made major contribution to world economic growth, therefore the slowdown of its GDP growth will impact the prices of oil and raw materials.

However, “the 7-percent GDP growth rate is quite OK for China as the rate is still much higher than that of the most economies in the world,” Leocher added.

China’s move to lower the growth target for 2015 was a reasonable step, said Duncan Freeman, a research fellow at Brussels Institute of Contemporary China Studies.

“For the Chinese government the key issue should not be short-term growth rates but long-term reform policies to deal with underlying problems,” Freeman told Xinhua in an interview on March 6.

Freeman said that domestic factors such as the weakness of the real estate sector will make it difficult for China to maintain strong growth, and the poor performance of many major foreign markets will limit external demand.

“Although growth will be slower, it will still represent significant demand both internally and internationally,” he said.

Rajiv Memani, Chairman of Global Emerging Markets Committee of Ernst & Young, is also upbeat about China’s economic stability against the backdrop of a slower growth rate.

“Given China’s increasing dominance in the global economy, it was understandable that any reduction in growth would be watched intensely,” he told Xinhua in a recent interview.

He said China is prudently balancing itself towards a consumption-based economy, from an export-oriented economy, with a strategic focus on innovation.