TIANJIN, China, June 27 (Reuters) – Chinese Premier Li Qiang said on Tuesday that China will take steps to stimulate demand, stimulate markets, promote development while accelerating the green transition and putting parts of its economy at “high level” to the outside world.
At a World Economic Forum meeting in Tianjin, Li declined to comment on China’s plans, leaving investors waiting for concrete details on the government’s stimulus policies.
China’s economic growth in the second quarter will be higher than in the first and is expected to reach the annual economic growth target of about 5%, Li said.
China’s GDP grew 4.5% year-on-year in the first three months of the year, but momentum has declined sharply since then.
Several major banks have cut their gross domestic product (GDP) forecasts for 2023 after industrial production and retail sales data in May missed forecasts and indicated that Beijing would need to take further steps to recover from a shaky post-COVID support recovery.
Nomura has cut its GDP forecast for 2023 from 5.5% to just 5.1%, adding that the new forecast takes into account the impact of possible stimulus measures.
“We will launch more practical and effective measures to enhance domestic demand potential, activate market vitality, promote coordinated development, accelerate the green transition and promote high-level opening to the outside world,” said Li.
Fresh from visits to Germany and France last week, Li also alluded to recent negative rhetoric directed at China by leading Western democracies.
“Everyone knows that some people in the West are extolling this so-called ‘risk reduction’, and I think to some extent it is a false proposal,” Li said, in a clear reference to the statement by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. assessment that Europe needs to take diplomatic and economic risks vis-à-vis China.
“The invisible barriers that some people have put up in recent years are becoming widespread, pushing the world into fragmentation and even confrontation,” Li said, referring to trade tensions between the United States and China.
“We strongly oppose the artificial politicization of economic and trade issues,” said the Chinese premier, adding that effective communication was vital to avoid misunderstandings between nations.
Li said the trend of globalization remains intact despite some setbacks, and China remains open for business and welcomes foreign investors.
In a separate meeting with Chinese and foreign business leaders, Li tried to reassure them that the government would continue to support the presence of foreign companies.
For example, Li said China would improve government procurement policies for medicines and pay close attention to concerns from foreign companies about new data governance rules.
Without elaborating further, Li said China would not abuse the security controls of foreign companies, while also warning that some had broken Chinese rules.
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