Global Times|Chinese Premier urges better implementation of macro policies to boost growth amid "more complex" factors

Chinese Premier Li Qiang said on Tuesday that factors affecting China's economic growth have become more complex than in the past and called for better implementation of macro policies to ensure the annual economic development goal is met, according to China Media Group (CMG).

Li made the remarks while chairing a symposium with experts and entrepreneurs over the current economic situation, which highlighted China's intensifying policy support for economic recovery, which has shown robust signs amid an increasing number of positive signals, despite lingering downward pressure, experts said, noting that the remarks put emphasis on supporting businesses and innovation as a key to promoting high-quality development.

Li said that since the start of the year, China has made great efforts to promote high-quality development, increased the intensity of macro adjustment and control, and accelerated the development of new quality productive forces. Overall economic operations remain stable and the economic structure has continued to upgrade, Li noted.

However, the factors affecting economic growth are more complex than in the past, Li said, urging achievements to be recognized while not avoiding problems, making scientific decisions and better implementing macro policies to achieve the expected goals of economic development throughout the year, according to the CMG report.

Li also stressed that in order to consolidate and enhance the positive economic recovery trend, China must be focused on innovation-driven development, cultivate new development momentum, give full play to the main role of enterprises, increase targeted policy support, and push for new breakthroughs in more key core technologies.

The premier encouraged entrepreneurs to strengthen their confidence, focus on innovation and development and strive to make their companies stronger and better. He also called on experts to conduct more forward-looking thinking and research and offer more wisdom for national development.

Experts and entrepreneurs attending the symposium noted the steady recovery in the Chinese economy, which has been hard-won, amid a complex external environment. They also offered opinions and suggestions on resolving contradictions in economic operations.

Cong Yi, a professor at the Tianjin School of Administration, said that as both the external and internal environment for China's development is shifting rapidly, it is imperative to be prepared for "rainy days," and the key focus is on how to better realize the potential of domestic consumption.

In addition to boosting domestic consumption, the upgrading of the manufacturing industry through innovation remains a critical factor in advancing high-quality development, Cong noted, adding that more studies will likely be carried out on removing barriers for innovation-driven development through deepening reforms.

"This is critical for realizing high-quality and innovation-driven development. It is also critical to boost the vitality of market entities," Cong told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Experts noted that Tuesday's symposium signals that greater policy support will likely be rolled out to support businesses, boost innovation and help further consolidate the overall economic recovery in the second half of 2024, after what's expected to be robust growth in the first half of 2024.

The symposium comes as China's economic recovery continues to show positive signs, despite lingering challenges. In the latest sign, China's manufacturing sector saw the fastest growth in activity in three years in June, thanks to strong production and stabilizing employment, according to the Caixin China General Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index, which tracks smaller private manufacturing firms, released on July 1.

Amid the growing positive signs, expectations for China's robust economic recovery continue to emerge. In a report sent to the Global Times on Tuesday, the Singapore-based ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office said that China's economic recovery has continued to gain traction aided by a rebound in external demand and diminishing drag from its real estate sector correction, and China's GDP growth is projected at 5.3 percent in 2024 and 4.9 percent in 2025.

The report further noted that Chinese authorities have embarked on a major restructuring of the economy through mobilizing new quality productive forces to enhance the quality of growth and transition to a technologically advanced economy.

China is expected to release economic data for the first half of 2024 around mid-July, and many experts are forecasting a robust GDP growth rate, thanks to the strong recovery in the first half in consumption, exports and investment. Retails sales, a main gauge of consumption, climbed by 4.1 percent year-on-year in the first five months, according to latest official data.