On Tuesday China’s premier Li Keqiang said he expects economic activity in the country can return to a reasonable range next year, after the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on GDP growth in 2020.
“China’s economy this year can achieve positive growth, and we expect next year (economic) operations can recover to a reasonable range,” Li told a news conference with leaders of six major international economic and financial organisations, including the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
China’s economy, the world’s second-largest, grew 0.7% in the first nine months of 2020 from a year earlier, while third-quarter GDP was up 4.9% year-on-year. “We will continue to expand opening up, and we will absolutely not pursue a trade surplus,” Li added, insisting China would put equal emphasis on imports and exports and wanted to achieve a balance of trade.
Beijing will allow consumption to play a “guiding role,” while investment will play an “effective role,” he added. China this year unveiled a “dual circulation” strategy to cut its dependence on overseas markets and technology in its long-term development, a shift brought on by a deepening rift with the United States.
The country has said it will rely mainly on “internal circulation” — the domestic cycle of production, distribution, and consumption — for its development, supported by innovation and upgrades in the economy.
In a statement released by China’s foreign ministry before the so-called “1+6” news conference, Li said China would maintain a continuous and stable macroeconomic policy, adopt more reform measures and promote the return of economic activity to a reasonable range.