China's latest GDP target is attainable, OECD Chief says
Updated: 2016-03-18 20:21
By Fu Jing and Tuo Yannan in Paris(chinadaily.com.cn)
Chinese government's target of maintaining a "sustainable" range of 6-7 percent of annual growth is achievable in coming five years while it implements the structural reform, said Angel Gurria, chief of Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). [Photo by Tan Qiuying/China Daily]
The Chinese government's target of maintaining a "sustainable" range of 6-7 percent of annual growth is achievable in the coming five years as the country implements structural reform, said Angel Gurria, chief of Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
"Right now for China this growth rate, in my opinion, is much better than the two-digital number, which can easily cause bubbles," Gurria told China Daily during an exclusive interview on Thursday morning at OECD headquarters before his organization's internal discussion on its China outlook.
While he was generally confident towards China's economic prospects for the coming five years, Gurria chaired this session to absorb comments from his team and advisers to hammer out talking points he is going to deliver over the weekend at the China Development Forum in Beijing.
China's top legislators have already approved the national 13th Five-year Economic and Social Development Program (2016-2020) at their annual gathering concluded on Wednesday. The growth target is a minimum of 6.5 percent on averaged basis annually.
Before bouncing back, he said China's economy will drop to 6.5 percent of growth in 2016, from last year's 6.9 percent. And the forecast of 2017 stands at 6.2 percent.
But he suggested that China should not pay too much attention to short-term downturns, which the market easily reacts to ,but concentrate on whether the economy is on track or not.
"We maintain this forecast mainly because of the world economic situation and China's ongoing gear-changing process of structural reform," said Gurria.
In its November economic outlook report, his organization forecast that the world economy would grow at 2.8 percent and 3.3 percent respectively in 2016 and 2017. But due to slowing growth in both some emerging and advanced economies and low prices which depressed commodity exporters, the OECD last month revised the forecast down to 2.5 percent and 3.1 percent respectively.
But the OECD has not revised China's forecasts in its February report. "We did not revise down China's forecasts this time, though globally the downward pressures are gathering," said Gurria.
At the same time, Gurria said the potential in implementing China's economic structural reform will also needs time to take effect before the economy bounces back.
He also said China's social policies in boosting inclusiveness by relaxing its family planning policy, household registration system and further efforts in lifting people out of poverty are all useful tools to speed up economic growth but the impact of these policies also needs time to be visible.
Gurria said China's determination in upgrading its growth quality and uplifting its businesses' position in the global economic chain, as well as improving the added value of its economy are viable options in the next five years.
"China is experiencing complicated transition. I think it is normal that there exist ups and downs and fluctuations. And the focuses of macroeconomic control should be whether the economy is on track or not," said Gurria.
Gurria said China will be encountering new challenges and solutions are not so simple. "However, I think the country's economy will be sustained in the range decided by the government."
Gurria said his organization will be working with the Chinese government on many global economic topics to prepare for G20 summit, which is scheduled in early September in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province.
China will chair the G20 summit.
The policy research topics will be focused on investment, trade, taxation, energy, green finance and anti-corruption to help deliver tangible outcomes at the G20 summit, said Gurria, whose organization is one of the key international organizations playing roles in contributing to the outcomes of the world leaders' gathering.
China has been in partnership with Gurria's OECD for twenty years and last July, Premier Li Keqiang paid a historic visit to OECD headquarters during his tour in France. China has joined the OECD Development Center, which includes up to 50 members and 22 of them are non-OECD countries.
Responding to the question of China's membership of the market economy club, he said: "We are ready and it is up to China's decision," said Gurria, whose organization has started to welcome China to join OECD nearly ten years ago.