Foreign experts impressed by China’s “great reform”Souce:Xinhua Publish By Jane B. Hatcher Updated 18/12/2012 5:21 am in Business / no comments
BEIJING, Dec. 17 — China’s Central Economic Work Conference, which concluded here Sunday and set the tone for the country’s economic policymaking next year, has attracted high attention from economists and experts around the world.
“The Chinese government is carrying out a great reform,” said Mariano Turzi, a professor of international economics at Torcuato De Tella University in Buenos Aires, referring to the conference’s call for in-depth research and studies to improve the top-level design and general planning for China’s reforms.
The conference also pledged to put forward a clear overall scheme, road map and timetable for the country’s reforms, according to a statement issued after the two-day meeting.
The Chinese government’s courageous efforts to shift the economic growth mode, said Turzi, will lay a solid foundation for China’s development during the next 50 years.
As for the conference’s decision to expand domestic demand and make it the strategic basis for China’s development, Turzi said such a decision reflects Chinese leaders’ objective assessment of external risks and is in line with the reality that China has a fast-expanding middle class.
Nicholas R. Lardy, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, said he believes that the primary task of China’s reforms in the next five years is to change the country’s economic growth model from an investment-driven style to one driven by consumption.
It is not only a challenge, but also a huge opportunity for China’s economy, Lardy told Xinhua.
Such a transformation has already begun in China, he said, noting that in the first three quarters of 2012 the per-capita disposable income of urban residents increased by 9.8 percent year on year in real terms while the per-capita cash income of rural residents grew 12.3 percent.
Arvind Subramanian, another senior fellow with the Peterson Institute for International Economics, told Xinhua that, in order to achieve its growth mode transformation, China needs to carry out reforms that can unleash economic vitality, especially those in financial sectors and concerning state-owned enterprises.
Commenting on the conference’s pledge to improve social security and people’s living standards, Derek Scissors, a research fellow at The Heritage Foundation’s Asian Studies Center, said that the best way to address the issue of income inequality in China is to encourage the development of the private sector, which will also be a priority on the Chinese policy-makers’ agenda in the years to come.
At the economic conference, Chinese leaders also decided to advance the country’s urbanization in an active and steady manner.
Andrey Ostrovsky, deputy director of the Far East Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, pointed out that scientific and technological development should play an important role in China’s urbanization process.
The expert added that as the potential of its rural surplus labor force has already been largely tapped, now it is time for China to find ways to raise labor productivity and spur its economy through scientific and technological progress.