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Thursday, January 19, 2017, 12:33

Li: Swift measures to aid development

By Hu Yongqi

Researcher says that managing expectations vital to the economy

Premier Li Keqiang has called on officials to respond quickly and actively to public concerns in order to manage market expectations.

Speaking at a State Council plenary meeting on Wednesday, the premier urged more than 30 ministers and local governments to take timely action in the face of changing economic indicators, which should be closely tracked and analyzed to assist policy-making.

"Ministers' quick and active responses to public concerns can guide market expectations, which will be beneficial to this year's economic development," he said.

A draft Government Work Report was approved in principle and will be distributed to local governments for suggestions.

Facing increasing uncertainty about the global economy as well as domestic challenges, the government has to enhance its sense of urgency and maintain strategic determination to overcome difficulties, Li said.

Li also called for the strengthening and upgrading of the real economy; for improving quality and efficiency; and for innovation-driven development and risk management. The country's economic achievements will help improve people's livelihood, he said.

The call comes ahead of the annual sessions of the National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference that will begin in early March. The premier will deliver the work report to lawmakers at the NPC session.

The State Council solicited suggestions from economists and corporate management on Friday, and from the fields of education, sciences, healthcare and sports on Monday.

Li Jiangtao, a professor of economics at the Chinese Academy of Governance, said Li's remarks were in line with the Central Economic Work Conference in December, adding that the central government is expected to carry out measures to boost investment, and aid the development of rural areas and small businesses.

For Zhu Andong, a professor of global economy at Tsinghua University, the central government should keep a closer eye on the policies of US President-elect Donald Trump and elections in European countries such as Germany.

Zhu's research shows the world may see another round of economic turmoil over the next two years following the global financial crisis in 2008. That's why managing market expectations is vital to China's economy and the government should have plans to overcome these potential threats, Zhu said. The key lies in stabilizing exports and the renminbi exchange rate, he said.

"China should not follow the quantitative easing of the US and European countries," Zhu warned.

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