China will likely meet its annual growth target of around 5.5 percent this year with the help of the government's effective measures to control COVID-19 outbreaks and stabilize1
market expectations, economists2
and experts said.
Despite facing mounting pressure from a resurgence3
in domestic COVID-19 cases and a complicated and grim external environment, they believe the country has plenty of policy tools to stabilize the overall economy, while the impact of outbreaks is likely to be temporary.
Citing China's faster-than-expected 4.8 percent year-on-year growth in the first quarter, they said there still exists a gap between first-quarter growth and the country's annual growth target, calling for more steps to accelerate macroeconomic policy support, especially for hard-hit enterprises and sectors5
Compared with major economies, China reported higher GDP growth with lower inflation in the first quarter, demonstrating robust6
economic resilience despite downward pressures, said Wang Yiming, vice-chairman of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges.
Wang said at a Chinese economic situation seminar on Saturday in Beijing that while China witnessed sustainable industrial growth, rising investment demand and strong innovation momentum7
in the first quarter, the growth of major economic indicators8
have slowed since March because of the COVID-19 cases and the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
With many market entities9
like micro and small businesses facing difficulties and mounting pressures, he said, more efforts should be made to actively10
respond to the concerns of those entities to stabilize market expectations and provide stronger macroeconomic policy adjustments to stabilize the economy.
Wang's views were echoed by Liu Qiao, dean of the Guanghua School of Management at Peking University. Considering the strong resilience of the economy and China's ample tools, Liu believes China has the confidence to meet its annual growth target of around 5.5 percent in 2022.
Sang Baichuan, dean of the Institute of International Economy at the University of International Business and Economics, said China's economy will remain in the process of recovery this year while facing pressures from the COVID-19 pandemic, geopolitical tensions and monetary11
policy adjustments in the United States and Europe.
"The economic situation is challenging," said Zhang Xiaoqiang, executive vice-chairman of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges.
He said it is of great importance to ensure economic stability and actively respond to the concerns of foreign businesses to stabilize foreign investment and international trade.
A new survey released by the European Union Chamber12
of Commerce in China and Roland Berger consultancy showed China's domestic COVID-19 cases and the Russia-Ukraine crisis are creating severe challenges to European business operations.
Given challenges in the foreign trade sector4
, the Ministry13
of Commerce will work to safeguard smooth logistics and production activities, improve financial support and encourage new business forms, such as cross-border commerce, said Sheng Qiuping, vice-minister of commerce.
China's consumption market will further expand, as the country has 1.4 billion people, including 400 million middle-income earners, he said.
Sheng said the Chinese market will remain open and unleash14
more opportunities for global enterprises, as the fundamentals of the Chinese economy will continue to improve.