China expected to show post-COVID economic confidence

2021-03-03 12:04:08

People work on a production line at Qingdao Jifa Group in Jimo district of Qingdao, East China's Shandong province, Feb 18, 2021.  [Photo/Xinhua] Beijing is set to send a message of unparalleled success in its economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and detail how it will achieve new targets over the next five years during this year's two sessions, Malaysia's news website The Star Online reported. A total of 5,000 delegates from the National People's Congress, the country's legislature, and the top political advisory body, the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, will be attending the political gatherings in the capital. China was the only major economy to post positive growth last year, expanding 2.3 percent, while economies in Europe and the United States were ravaged by the pandemic. "With COVID-19 under control, Chinese authorities will boost market confidence in China's economic future," the website said, quoting Dan Wang, chief economist at Hang Seng Bank China. "I think the two sessions will highlight areas including industrial plans to reduce carbon emissions, financial and economic opening and measures targeting low-income groups." China's growth this year is forecast to be between 7 to 9 percent, higher than estimates for the US of between 3.5 and 6 percent. Some analysts have even predicted China will overtake the US as the world's biggest economy by 2028, four years ahead of Beijing's official prediction, due to the countries' contrasting recoveries from the coronavirus. The rapid economic rebound has been a source of confidence for the nation's top policymakers. China did not set an official GDP growth rate target at the 2020 two sessions, and some analysts said it may be scrapped again this year. Wang said the government would likely eschew a specific GDP growth goal and instead focus on an "inflation target and specific measures to contain financial risk". Earlier, some local governments set growth targets at their own two sessions, with many provinces opting for growth of 6 percent or higher. Some provinces like Henan, Hunan and Shanxi are aiming for expansion of 7 to 8 percent, while Hubei and Hainan have set goals of more than 10 percent.