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China kicks off key economic conference
2008/12/08

China's decision makers gatheredin Beijingon Monday to determine economic work for 2009 amid efforts to offset adverse impacts of global financial crisis and maintain stable and sound economic growth.

Analysts expected this year's meeting to work out specific strategies and resolutions for the problems China would confront next year, including the risk of economic slowdown, difficulties in small and medium-sized enterprises and the transformation of economic growth pattern.

They said the country's economic growth would still be maintained at nine percent for the whole year, compared with an 11.4 percent expansion last year.

Earlier on Nov. 28, Chinese President Hu Jintao said the top priority of the country's 2009 agenda on economic development is to maintain a "stable and relatively fast growth".

He said the country would pursue an "all-rounded and sustainable" growth that stresses both quality and efficiency next year, while going after a better combination of "maintaining growth, strengthening domestic demand and restructuring the economy".

The president also said the country would continue to practice "active" fiscal and "moderately loose" monetary policies.

Such proactive policies were adopted earlier last month in response to the unfolding financial crisis, and it is a transition from the earlier "prudent" fiscal and "tight" monetary policies aimed at curbing inflation and averting overheating.

The world's fastest growing economy managed to keep a stable and relatively rapid growth so far this year, despite several setbacks including rare blizzards in winter, the massive earthquake in May, and recent shocks from the ongoing financial crisis. The growth of the economy was 9.9 percent year on year in the first three quarters.

But concerns on a slowdown began to surface in recent months, as the country received more pinches from the global financial crisis. The country's growth in the third quarter was nine percent year on year, the slowest pace in about five years, due to slower growth in exports and investment.

In order to shore up the economy, the country's State Council, or the cabinet, had announced a huge 4-trillion-yuan stimulus package to expand the domestic demand, in addition to more active macro policies.

The government has also taken on a rare move to unveil a series of measures within a month to bolster the economy, such as approving multi-billion-dollar investment projects, raising exporter bates three times in the second half, as well as hefty interest rate cuts.

More of such measures are expected on the three-day Central Economic Work Conference, which was initiated more than a decade ago and held at the end of every year.

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