Chinese economy can recover from slowdown: Experts

By Xinhua,

Nanning (China) : Experts attending a strategic dialogue at the ongoing China-Asean Expo here have shown confidence in China’s steady economic growth despite the downturn in world economy.

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China’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew 9.9 percent during the first three quarters of this year, 2.3 percentage points lower than the same period last year, the National Bureau of Statistics said Monday. China’s GDP has grown at an annual average of 10.6 percent since 2003.

Hadi Soesastro, executive director of Center for Strategic and International Studies of Indonesia, said that 9.9 percent is already a good achievement.

China has spent great amount of money on environmental protection, energy saving, greenhouse gas emission control and social welfare. The social interests and long-term effects are incalculable, he said.

“In consideration of the ongoing global economic crisis, 9.9 is still a good figure. China’s economy is somewhat resistant to the outside impact and is easy to escape from a standstill,” said Nguyen Van Nen, director of planning and promotion department of Vietnam Cooperative Alliance.

China’s slowdown under the background of global recession is an opportunity for the country to readjust and transform, said Sheng Lijun, a researcher with the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore.

“China should promote its technology innovation and transform itself from a traditional manufacturer to a modern industrialized country, setting a sound basis for its sustainable development,” he said.

The weak demand in the West could make a glut of Chinese products. The mounting protectionism also has a negative impact on Chinese economy, Sheng said. “China can invest in domestic infrastructure as well as that in Asean countries. The return is guaranteed.”

“I think China’s returning to a 10 percent growth rate needs two years at most. I am quite confident about that,” said Tan Sri Mohamed Jawhar Hassan with the Institute of Strategic and International Studies of Malaysia.

The global market slipped into a recession in the 1997 Asian financial crisis and China also slowed down its pace. Chinese economy, however, gained a momentum soon after that and moved to a new high, he said.

“Now China’s economic quality and the ability to recover is much better than 10 years ago. It will keep an eight percent increase at worst,” said Hassan.

China’s steady growth is vital to the development of Asean countries.

The China-Asean Free Trade Zone is expected to become the third largest free trade zone in the world in 2010 and the ties between China and the Asean members are set to become closer, said Nguyen Van Nen.

The close ties and strengthening cooperation between the two sides will definitely improve their resistance to the economic risks, he said.

“In the long run, I am optimistic about China’s economy,” he said.