BEIJING — Premier Li Keqiang left Beijing for Davos, Switzerland, on Jan 20 to attend the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF), the first overseas trip for Chinese leaders in 2015.
Li is scheduled to deliver an important speech at the meeting on China’s economic situation and its policies concerning comprehensive reform and opening up.
Statistics released on Jan 20 showed that China’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew 7.4 percent in 2014, which, although in line with market expectations, was its weakest expansion in 24 years.
China has entered a “new normal”, with growth at a medium-to-high level and structural reform measures implemented to support sustainable development. Innovation has been singled out as an area that will play a more significant role in driving growth.
A new round of comprehensive reform measures began in 2014, which restructured the economy, and streamlined authoritative powers to stimulate the market. The year 2015 will see the continuation of this reform trend.
As world’s second largest economy, which, as estimated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), contributed 27.8 percent to the global newly-added GDP in 2014 -- the most in the world, China’s economic performance is watched closely.
More than 2,500 attendees of the WEF Davos meeting have many questions: What reform measures China will take? Will they work? What new opportunities and challenges will they have on the rest of the world?
Li is expected to send a clear message of confidence in China’s economic development to boost confidence in the Chinese economy, and that of other emerging economies.
In an environment where many economies are still struggling with the aftershocks of the financial crisis, the world is still trying to find a way forward.
The WEF claimed that: “Complexity, fragility and uncertainty are all challenging at global, regional and national levels, potentially ending an era of economic integration and international partnership that began in 1989.”
This year’s theme “The New Global Context”, maybe relatively vague, but is definitely not optimistic. Besides the slowing down of economic growth in China, leaders are confronted by growing economic uncertainty worldwide, along with other political, security and environmental issues.
The world will look at how China responds to various global challenges, in particular its role in promoting and contributing to international economic cooperation.
Therefore, Li is also expected to share his views on the international situation and the current state of global economy, suggesting possible solutions to global challenges.
Problems may still remain after the five-day meeting, however, it will certainly help build confidence for the year ahead.