Li Keqiang Holds the Seventh “1+6” Roundtable with Heads of Major International Economic Institutions
Keep China’s Economy within the Appropriate Range and Rely on Reform and Opening-up to Continuously Inject Fresh Impetus into Development
On December 9, 2022, Premier Li Keqiang of the State Council held the seventh “1+6” Roundtable in Huangshan City, Anhui Province with President David Malpass of the World Bank Group, Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva of the International Monetary Fund, Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of the World Trade Organization, Director-General Gilbert F. Houngbo of the International Labor Organization, Secretary-General Mathias Cormann of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and Chairman Klaas Knot of the Financial Stability Board. They had in-depth exchanges on China’s economic situation and deepening reform and opening up, among others.
Li Keqiang said that China’s economic development this year is highly unusual. Under the strong leadership of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, China has taken well-coordinated steps to respond to COVID-19 and pursue economic and social development, and maintained overall economic and social stability. Affected by the pandemic and other factors beyond expectation, China’s economy experienced a notable decline early in the second quarter. China took decisive action and promptly released a package of policies and measures to stabilize the economy. Through these efforts, the downward trend was quickly reversed, and the economy is recovering and showing a stabilizing momentum. China has achieved stability in employment and prices, kept the overall economic performance stable, and ensured that major economic indicators stay within an appropriate range. Considering the serious impact of COVID-19, these achievements did not come easily. As the pandemic situation evolves, the Chinese government announced “10 new measures” to optimize COVID-19 response the day before yesterday. With the implementation of these measures, economic growth will continue to pick up. China will better coordinate pandemic control with economic and social development to protect people’s lives and maintain the normal order in work and life. China will take further steps to keep logistics channels unimpeded, ensure the steady operation of industrial and supply chains, and facilitate international exchanges and the flow of personnel.
Li Keqiang noted that a priority of China’s macro policy is to support market entities, because in some areas, market entities, especially micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and individual businesses, were facing even greater difficulties than those in 2020. China mainly used policy tools reserved from previous years to help market entities through relief measures including tax and fee cuts, deferrals and tax refunds. This year, the amount is expected to exceed 4 trillion yuan. Employment is the fundamental support for development. To support market entities is mainly about stabilizing the employment, because China has more than 160 million market entities, three times the number ten years ago, which supported the employment of several hundred million people. China has kept the price rise at a relatively low level thanks to its reasonable regulation of macro policies over the past few years. China has not introduced an excessive money supply or substantially increased the deficit. In addition, the grain output increase and a good harvest this year as well as the effective guarantee of domestic energy supply have laid a solid foundation for stabilizing the prices. This is also a positive contribution to the stability of global food and energy markets.
Li Keqiang said that in the face of the acute challenge of sluggish demand, China has used multiple policy tools on both the supply and demand sides to boost domestic demand. China has supported the construction of major projects and the innovation of equipment. Consumption is the primary driving force of economic growth, and China has taken a host of measures to boost consumption. City-specific policies have been implemented to support people’s demand for buying homes or improving their housing situation; 16 financial measures have been released to support individual mortgage loans, delivery of pre-sold homes, financing of real estate enterprises, and long-term rental housing, to promote the steady and sound development of the real estate market. The platform economy has boosted consumption and employment. China is committed to leveling the playing field by employing market-oriented and law-based measures to support the sound and sustainable development of the platform economy.
Li Keqiang noted that keeping economic performance stable requires both greater intensity in macro regulation and more reform to generate vitality. China sticks to the direction of reform to develop the socialist market economy, continues to advance reform in key areas and key links, and reaffirms its commitment to the development of both the public and non-public sectors of the economy. China will deepen reforms to streamline administration and delegate powers and improve regulation, improve the business environment, better unlock market vitality and social creativity, give the people more freedom and convenience to do business and start up a business, and continue to advance business startups and innovation. China cannot develop in isolation from the world, and the world also needs China for its development. China will open its door even wider to the outside world, unswervingly advance high-level opening-up, and steadily expand institutional opening-up. China will double down on attracting foreign investment, see to it that domestic and foreign-invested enterprises have equal access to all supportive policies, and protect the national treatment of foreign-invested enterprises in accordance with the law.
Heads of the international economic organizations underscored the importance of China’s development to the world, spoke positively of China’s efforts and progress in stabilizing employment and prices, and commended China’s recalibration of its pandemic response measures, China’s firm commitment to deepening reform and opening up, and China’s support for multilateralism.
Xiao Jie was present at the roundtable.