Official stresses supply-side reform for China's economic work in 2017

Source:Xinhua Published: 2016/12/17 18:04:33

China's economic work in 2017 will focus on supply-side structural reform, an economic official said on Saturday, as the economy urgently needs to address entrenched problems and find long-term growth momentum.

"The major economic task can be summarized as deepening reform," said Yang Weimin, deputy head of the Office of the Central Leading Group on Finance and Economic Affairs, a high-level economic policy-making institution.

The reform, initiated in 2016, has witnessed some progress, but more efforts are needed in the next year, Yang said, while addressing an economic forum jointly held by the China Center for International Economic Exchanges and the State Think Tank of Xinhua News Agency.

China's policymakers proposed supply-side structural reform at the end of 2015 to resolve structural imbalance in the economy.

Authorities have pressed ahead with five tasks: cutting industrial capacity, bringing down housing inventory, reducing leverage levels, lowering corporate costs and improving weak economic links.

"The reform will remain a main theme of the economic work in the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020)," Yang said, adding more areas will be covered by reform measures.

While the five tasks will remain in 2017, policymakers also plan to overhaul the supply side of agriculture, revive the real economy and stabilize the property sector, according to the tone-setting Central Economic Work Conference ending Friday.

Meeting attendees agreed that "seeking progress while maintaining stability" will be the main theme of next year's economic planning, with proactive fiscal and prudent monetary policies.

"The highlight on stability will create a sound environment for structural reforms and prevention of financial risks," Yang said.

Thanks to the reform, the Chinese economy is ending 2016 on firm footing, with encouraging signs of growth being on track to meet this year's target.

In the first three quarters, the economy expanded 6.7 percent, steady with the first half of the year and within the government's target range of between 6.5 and 7 percent.

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