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UPDATED: December 20, 2010 NO. 51 DECEMBER 23, 2010
Domestic Meeting, Global Influence

The recently concluded annual Central Economic Work Conference, as usual, reviewed this year's economic progress and outlined major tasks for the coming year.

While determined to maintain "stable and relatively fast" economic growth, the top leaders at the meeting pledged to combat inflation and continue restructuring the economy and improving people's livelihood.

This year, the Chinese economy's recovery momentum has been strong. Its GDP grew by 10.6 percent in the first three quarters, on par with pre-crisis levels. As indicated in the newly released economic figures for November, industrial output, fixed-asset investment, consumption and foreign trade all recorded doubt-digit growth.

However, skyrocketing consumer prices have caused alarm bells about runaway inflation to sound. CPI growth reached a 28-month high of 5.1 percent in November. Already, the government has taken measures to stabilize prices and to withdraw excess liquidity. A shift of monetary policy from "moderately loose" to "prudent" next year was reaffirmed at the conference.

The government will also continue to boost consumption, develop the green economy, bridge the income gap, improve social welfare, and promote foreign trade and investment.

By setting the tone of macroeconomic policies for the next year, the conference has become a key event of China's economic calendar. But, its influence goes far beyond the domestic economy.

China, as the largest developing economy, has also emerged as the world's second largest economy in terms of GDP in the second and third quarters. The strong growth of the Chinese economy has alleviated the situation facing the global economic recovery, which has been imbalanced.

Although many signs are pointing toward weak growth for the world economy next year, China expected its "stable and relatively fast" GDP growth next year can be a stabilizer boosting confidence for the world recovery.

Specific tasks outlined at the conference can also benefit the international economy. Continuing to promote consumption and improving people's livelihood will increase demands on foreign products, indicating a possible rise in imports. This year, imports have already seen a boom. In November, imports reached a record of $130.43 billion, rising 37.7 percent year on year. Meanwhile, China is seeking technological upgrades and is looking to develop its hi-tech industries, which require imported hi-tech products from developed countries. The country will also continue to encourage foreign investments, especially in hi-tech industries, the service sector and energy-efficient and environment-friendly businesses, as well as in the vast central and western regions.

Guided by the policies mapped out at the conference, China's economy is bound to head for more healthy and sustainable growth. We have confidence in this, and past experiences have shown that major tasks outlined at the Central Economic Work Conference can be achieved. China's economy will continue to make contributions to bolstering the world economic recovery in 2011.

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