At the Central Economic Work Conference held from December 9-11,
Chinese leaders reviewed the country's economy in 2014 and mapped
out plans for 2015. Maintaining economic development through the
furtherance of reforms under the "new normal" characterized by a
slowed growth rate was agreed to be next year's focus.
Although China's 2014 growth rate has kept within the range of
approximately 7 percent, the economy has shifted downward. Since
next year marks the final year of China's 12th Five-Year Plan
(2011-15), a crucial year for restructuring the economy, the trend
of growth will be greatly significant.
The Chinese economy had long been characterized by rapid growth.
However, this has proven costly to the environment and natural
resources. By the time of the 2008 global financial crisis, it had
become clear that such growth was unsustainable. To guarantee
employment and people's well-being, China had to stabilize its
economy. Calculations show a 7-percent growth rate is ample and
hence represents the new normal of the Chinese economy.
To ensure stable growth occurs under this new normal, China will
utilize a prudent monetary policy and a proactive fiscal policy in
2015 and make the transformation of its economic growth pattern and
economic restructuring a priority. This means that China will give
more support to investment, its key strategic industries and the
Bolstering reform is the main means through which China can
maintain its economic new normal. Reform and opening-up measures
that have served the country so well for more than 30 years are
losing momentum. The country needs new driving forces for its
economy. The current problems facing China's economic development
are in nature institutional ones and require profound changes.
At the conference, the Central Government made concrete plans
for expanding reforms. Systemic reforms will be undertaken and
plans which can both accommodate next year's circumstances and
yield long-term benefits will be put into effect.
In 2015, China plans to further streamline administration,
delegate power to lower levels and attempt to maintain the economic
new normal by strengthening finance, foreign trade, science and
technology; facilitating the creation of mixed ownership companies;
and coordinating regional development.
China will also make greater contributions to the world economy,
as it advances the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century
Maritime Silk Road Initiatives as well as the Free Trade Area of
the Asia-Pacific. At the conference, it was requested that China
should realize more of its latent domestic demand potential in 2015
so as to reach a balance between imports and exports and between
inbound and outbound investment.