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    Nation to boost consumption, investment

    Updated: Aug 7, 2020 By OUYANG SHIJIA CHINA DAILY Print
    A man walks at a night market with his cat on his shoulder in Zhengzhou, Henan province on July 30, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

    China will implement measures to further boost domestic demand and deepen reform and opening-up this year, in an effort to deal with the rising uncertainties and disruptions from the COVID-19 outbreak, according to the country's top economic regulator.

    In the second half of 2020, the country will take key measures, such as relaxing curbs on new energy vehicle purchases, to spur domestic consumption, Ning Jizhe, vice-minister of the National Development and Reform Commission, said in an interview with China Central Television.

    Other measures include boosting consumption in the smart retail, online education and home appliance sectors, encouraging areas that have restrictions on car purchases to increase the number of car registrations as appropriate and offering subsidies for the purchase of new energy vehicles.

    Ning said the country will push ahead with major investment in new infrastructure, new-type urbanization and key projects for national development such as transport and water infrastructure, and focus on weak links in fields such as public health, emergency medical supplies and energy.

    "Private investment, which accounts for nearly 60 percent of overall investment in China, is becoming a key force to stabilize investment," he added.

    "In the second half of this year, China will further improve the environment for private investment and adopt more supportive policies to encourage private sector engagement in public health, logistics, emergency stockpiles and other weak links. More efforts are also needed to facilitate bank lending for the private sector," Ning said.

    China's GDP grew by 3.2 percent year-on-year in the second quarter, rebounding from the first quarter's contraction, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

    "China has the foundation as well as conditions to recover the economy," Ning said during an interview with People's Daily. "The trend of the Chinese economy toward stable long-term growth with sound momentum remains unchanged."

    Experts said China's economy is on track to steady recovery, and it will surely be the first major economy to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

    They said China will fully implement a package of policies announced during this year's annual national legislative session in May, and the country will see steady and accelerated economic growth in the second half of this year.

    A report released by the China Macroeconomy Forum research team forecast China's GDP growth could rebound to 7 percent in the second half of 2020, with full-year growth of 3 percent.

    Shi Jinchuan, a professor of economics at Zhejiang University, said China needs a big push to support private companies, especially those hit badly by the globally spreading coronavirus outbreak.

    "The government needs to introduce long-term supportive policies and especially encourage small and medium-sized enterprises to embrace transformation and upgrading, such as using internet sharing systems, e-commerce platforms and the industrial internet," Shi said at a recent CMF seminar.

    To further support the economic recovery and cushion the coronavirus impact, more efforts are also needed to deepen reform and opening-up, foster a more business-friendly environment and attract more foreign capital to invest and develop business in China, said Ning from the NDRC.

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