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China expands domestic demand to counter financial crisis: president

2009-11-13 17:43 BJT

Special Report: Hu Visits 2 Nations, Attends APEC Summit |

SINGAPORE, Nov. 13 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao said here Friday a stimulus package aimed at lifting domestic consumer demand had underpinned China's efforts to counter the international financial crisis.

"We adopted a stimulus package and relevant policies and measures, and have improved them in the course of their implementation," the Chinese president told the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit. "Our focus in countering the crisis is to expand domestic demand, especially consumer demand."

The Chinese president admitted that the international financial crisis had brought unprecedented difficulties and challenges to the Chinese economy, prompting the Chinese government to modify its macroeconomic policies and introduce a proactive fiscal policy and a moderately easy monetary policy.

Hu said China's efforts in countering the crisis had several main elements.

First, it had sought to expand domestic demand to strengthen the momentum of development.

The massive government investment and the non-public capital it generated had been mainly channeled to projects related to people's well-being, the environment and technological innovation in China, he said.

"We have been working hard to improve the consumption environment, adjust distribution relations, increase people's ability to spend and foster new areas of high consumer demand," said the Chinese president.

"We have reduced burdens on both enterprises and individuals through structural tax cuts and provided greater credit support to enterprises," Hu told some 1,000 Asia-Pacific business leaders.

All these measures were designed to foster a new pattern of economic growth driven jointly by consumption, investment and export, he added.

Second, it deepened reform to unleash economic vitality.

"We have intensified reform in priority areas and key links, including the price of resource products, fiscal and taxation regimes, the financial system and state-owned enterprises with a view to spurring creativity in the whole society," Hu told the business leaders.

Third, the government had aimed to improve people's livelihoods to consolidate the foundation of development.

"We have given priority to undertakings concerning people's well-being in the economic stimulus measures and pooled resources to accelerate relevant key projects," Hu said.

"We are making every effort to address issues concerning the immediate interests of the people, such as employment, medical care, housing, old-age support and environmental protection," he added.

China had also intensified efforts to improve the social safety net and substantially raised social security benefits, Hu added.