Experts and scholars from different fields and business leaders offered their opinions and suggestions concerning the government’s Annual Work Report during a meeting held by Premier Li Keqiang on Jan 26.
One entrepreneur told China Business News (CBN) that Premier Li is very concerned about the economic growth rate. Regarding a suggestion that pollution and smog could be reduced by slowing down economic growth, the Premier said this would cause unemployment.
CBN quoted a source as saying that the government aims to hold symposiums to receive opinions from members of the public - including scholars, entrepreneurs, farmers and students - concerning the government report. It said that teachers, doctors, tech workers, retirees and village doctors would also be invited to share their opinions. During such symposiums, “the Premier only makes a simple opening statement before listening to a discussion among participants - and he occasionally asks questions”, the source said.
At the beginning of 2014, three such symposiums were held by Premier Li, and a total of 34 people gave their opinions about the annual government work report.
Participants at the meeting on Jan 26 analyzed the current economic situation. The National Bureau of Statistics recently announced that China’s 2014 GDP reached year-on-year growth of 7.4 percent, exceeding 60 trillion yuan for the first time, with all expected targets reached - and a higher employment rate.
One official at the meeting told CBN that the country’s economy this year would focus on stability, which directly concerns growth rate, employment and commodity prices - and the “new normal” involves a stable economy which requires the government to maintain a stable policy as well as innovation in adjustment and control measures.
Regarding the Chinese economy adapting to the “new normal,” the Premier said that deepened all-round reform should be accelerated. He stressed the necessity of continuing to streamline administration and delegate powers to lower levels - and utilizing grassroots innovation as a new driving force of economic development.
Premier Li stressed the importance of reform - and reiterated that important reforms concerning finance and taxation will be deepened in 2015.
Wu Jinglian, a renowned economist, also suggested more efforts in reform to solve structural conflicts - and he said that the country could increase economic efficiency by developing advanced industries like the modern service industry.
Chi Fulin, president of the China Institute for Reform and Development, told CBN that the service industry requires reform - and the key to development is an open market.
Chi said that there are three important goals for an open market in the service industry: First, to make social capital the subject of its development; second, to break monopolies, especially in education, health care, and elderly care; and third, to make the service industry an essential part of the process of opening-up.