On March 5th, 2014, in front of 3,000 delegates of the National People’s Congress,
in Beijing, Premier Li Keqiang delivered his first government report.
TOP PRIORITY IS REFORM
China’s economic growth target is to remain at 7.5 percent for 2014 but there will be plenty of change, while deepening reforms and strong actions towards poverty and pollution reduction. The country is to shift toward more balanced and cleaner economic growth.
"Economic growth is key to address all issues in China… We must have the mettle to fight….and break shackles to deepen reforms on all fronts…. China economy will increasingly be driven by domestic demand…. Stronger domestic demand will become the major power to push forward China’s economic growth", Li said. Services including healthcare, tourism, culture and geriatric nursing has the potential to grow into large industries that bolster the economy, the premier said. The country will also carry out further reforms in taxes, the exchange rate regime and will open more sectors for foreign and private investments.
But the change would take place at a gradual pace, so as not to trigger an abrupt economic slowdown, Li said. Premier Li also “declared war” on pollution and promised to fight with the same determination the country battled poverty in the past. The government will take strong measures to prevent and control pollution with a focus on megacities and regions with frequent occurrence of smog. “Smog is affecting large parts of China and environmental pollution has become a major problem” Li said. The government is also to build a system for combating corruption and will penalize crooked officials without merci.
This first work report by Premier Li showed the pragmatic approach, the down-to-earth working style and the determination for deeper changes of himself and his government.
President Xi Jingping, joining the Shanghai delegation to the National People’s Congress, urged the city to be bold in its free trade zone (FTZ) launched last year as a test bed for deepening the market-oriented reforms that would later be applied across the nation. “Everything is difficult at the beginning” Xi told the delegation. Xi said the city should make the FTZ a “plateau for institutional innovation” while keeping up with international trading rules.
Author : Jean-Claude MULLER, Special Advisor, Innovation & International Relationship (I&IR)