China will take steps to boost demand, accelerate green transition – Premier Li
TIANJIN, China -Chinese Premier Li Qiang on Tuesday said China will take steps to boost demand, invigorate markets, promote development while accelerating the green transition and opening “high level” parts of its economy to the outside world.
Addressing a World Economic Forum summit in Tianjin, Li did not elaborate on China’s plans, leaving investors hanging on for concrete details of the government’s stimulus policies.
China’s economic growth in the second quarter will be higher than the first and is expected to reach the annual economic growth target of around 5 percent, Li said.
China’s GDP grew 4.5 percent year-on-year in the first three months of the year, but momentum has faded sharply since.
Several major banks have cut their 2023 gross domestic product (GDP) forecasts after May industrial output and retail sales data missed forecasts and indicated Beijing would need to take further steps to shore up a shaky post-COVID recovery.
Nomura has cut its 2023 GDP forecast to just 5.1 percent from 5.5 percent, adding in a note that its new forecast incorporated the impact of potential policy stimulus measures.
“We will launch more practical and effective measures in expanding the potential of domestic demand, activating market vitality, promoting coordinated development, accelerating green transition, and promoting high-level opening to the outside world,” Li said.
Having just returned from visits to Germany and France last week, Li also alluded to the recent negative rhetoric directed towards China by the leading Western democracies.
“Everyone knows some people in the West are hyping up this so-called ‘de-risking,’ and I think, to some extent, it’s a false proposition,” Li said, in an apparent reference to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s assessment that Europe should “de-risk” diplomatically and economically from China.
“The invisible barriers put up by some people in recent years are becoming widespread and pushing the world into fragmentation and even confrontation,” Li said, turning to the trade tensions between the United States and China.
“We firmly oppose the artificial politicization of economic and trade issues,” the Chinese premier said, adding that effective communication was vital to avoid misunderstandings between nations.
Taking up one of his key themes since being appointed in March, Li said the trend of globalisation remains intact despite some setbacks, and China remains open for business and welcomes foreign investors.
“We should follow the trend of the times, further develop consensus and unswervingly build an open world economy,” Li said.