China will be a driving force for the world economic recovery, official says

By Liangping Gao and Kevin Yao

BOAO, China (Reuters) -China aims to be strong driving force for the world economic recovery this year, opening its markets wider to foreign investors and promoting high quality growth, the country’s top legislator Zhao Leji said on Thursday.

China will make tech innovation a new point of economic growth and is willing to collaborate with other countries on it, Zhao, the chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, said at the opening plenary of the annual gathering of the Boao Forum for Asia.

China’s import and export of goods is expected to exceed $32 trillion in the next five years, according to Zhao.

Recent economic indicators have shown the world’s second-biggest economy made a bright start to the year, offering some relief to policymakers as they try to shore up growth amid weakness in the property sector and mounting local government debt.

Zhao also promised greater openness in the country’s markets for foreign investors, with a further reduction of the “negative list” of sectors prohibited or restricted for investment from foreign companies without special approval.

Many foreign businesses have been looking to “de-risk” supply chains and operations away from China. Inbound foreign direct investment shrank nearly 20% in the first two months of the year, data released last week showed.

Earlier in March, Beijing announced a series of policies to prop up economic growth and a growth target of around 5% for 2024, which Zhao said conveyed confidence the country’s economy continuing to rebound and improve in the long term.

China opposed trade protection and decoupling, said Zhao.

“Investing in China is investing in the future.” ($1 = 7.2260 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Kevin Yao; Writing by Liangping Gao; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Lincoln Feast.)



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