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Premier to boost economic confidence at Davos

Updated: Jan 19,2015 11:30 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING -- Premier Li Keqiang is expected to deliver a clear message of confidence in the Chinese economy at Annual Meeting 2015 of the prestigious World Economic Forum (WEF) to be held in Davos, Switzerland later this week.

Li is leaving for the ski resort of Davos on Tuesday to join the movers and shakers of the world for their annual brainstorming.

When he takes the floor at a plenary session on Wednesday, all eyes will be fixed on the clues he may provide on the health of the world’s second largest economy as the global recovery remains fragile.

Confronted with rising threat of terrorism in Europe, heightened geopolitical tension in Ukraine and a possible replay of the euro crisis, the global economy is facing strong headwind despite lower oil prices.

The World Bank cut its projections for the global economy last week, forecasting that China will see its growth rate further down from 7.4 percent in 2014 to 7.1 percent this year, the lowest in more than two decades.

It was feared that the once world’s growth engine may lose steam, leaving room for reemergence of “China Collapse” warning, which sounds familiar and repeatedly proves wrong.

“The premier is expected to reiterate confidence in the Chinese economy despite the slowdown, which remains in a reasonable range and is a natural result of deepened reforms,” a source close to the central government said, “There are downward risks, but China has enough policy room and there is no need to be pessimistic.”

“He will also give a detailed assessment of the new reform measures implemented in the drive for China’s economic transformation, rebuffing those gloomy views about the Chinese economy,” the source added.

The year of 2014 was dubbed as the beginning of a new round of comprehensive reforms in China, marked by a carefully-managed slowdown from previous high-speed growth and a fundamental shift of the development mode, with more emphasis laid on efficiency and growth quality.

“The Chinese economy has entered a state of new normal. The whole world is attentive to the interpretation of the Chinese leader on the country’s future growth,” Ding Yifan, a scholar with China’s Development Research Center of the State Council, said.

“The Davos forum is an appropriate place for Premier Li to expound on China’s confidence,” he said.

“The growth and stability of the Chinese economy will bring more confidence to the world as well,” he added.

Ding said that this year will see an “explosion” of economic reforms in China, which are meant to enable the Chinese economy to embark upon a path of more sustainable development.

“We will see more reform measures and more achievements,” he said.

Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the WEF, also sounded optimistic about the outlook of the Chinese economy in a recent interview with Xinhua.

“Even with 7 percent growth — the government’s target for 2015 — China is likely to remain the largest contributor to the global economic growth. That is impressive, considering many of China’s key trade partners, including Europe and Russia, are experiencing sluggish growth,” said Schwab.

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), China’s contribution to the global newly-added GDP was 27.8 percent in 2014.

“China has not only been a stabilizer in the global economy, but also a main power engine since the international financial crisis,” a senior researcher with the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations said.

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