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Economic growth focuses more on quality


04-16-2016 05:28 BJT

China's first quarter GDP figures show a slight slowdown in growth rate. Still, authorities say there are many highlights for such results amid a sluggish world economy. But where is China's economy heading going forward? CCTV reporter Xing Zheming sat down with Sir Andrew Likierman, Dean of London Business School, and LBS's Economist Professor Richard Portes, to ask how they think about the growth prospects.

Fresh GDP figures are out for the world's second largest economy. Its GDP grew by 6.7 percent in the first quarter year-on-year.

This compares to last year, when China's GDP rose by 6.9%, the slowest rate in 25 years.

China's economic growth is indeed slowing down. But the first quarter results are in line with market expectations, and fall within the growth target set by the government.

"The problems are of slowing growth rather than slow growth. Of course, in west Europe, we can only dream about the kind of growth rate which China is currently enjoying. So the issue with China I think is about the questions of a slower growth rate than it's desirable and is seen desirable. But again there are plenty of opportunities within the economy to boost the growth rate. And I know that steps are being taken to do so. So again, I'm confident this is something which for the future will be addressed," Sir Andrew Likierman said.

What can we understand from the GDP figures in the first quarter? How will China's economy move forward? Experts say amid a sluggish global economy and the ongoing economic transformation, this figure is actually quite impressive.

"I think it's realistic to see between now and 2020 a growth rate of around 6 percent on average. I do not see a significant risk of a crash down to 3 percent or 2 percent whatever," Professor Richard Portes said.
"China is crucial to the world economy. What we know is that once upon a time, it was said that if America caught a cold, then the rest of the world had pneumonia. Now I'm afraid if China catches a cold, the rest of the world has a pneumonia. So obviously we are very concerned and very interested in Chinese growth prospects. I'm no better than other peole predicting what will happen. What I'm very confident about is that the issues China faces will not be permanent," Sir Andrew Likierman said.

They said multiple government initiatives, fast-developing enterprises and a large number of trained workers, offer China a competitive edge on the global map. 

"I've seen in my visits here remarkable stories of entrepreneurship. And I think you can expect that, you can rely on that. Every time I come, I'm amazed by how much it has changed," Professor Richard Portes said.

"Well every time I come to China, things change dramatically. And it's a very very exciting place to come. One has a sense of energy and all the buzz about the way which people do business here, that makes me very confident about the future of the Chinese economy. I know that many people are worried about many trends, but my sense that the Chinese economy is strong and the long term for China I believe is very bright," Sir Andrew Likierman said.

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