China will find it tough to achieve over 6.5pc growth

Shanghai, January 11

China will face great difficulty in achieving economic growth above 6.5 per cent over the 2016-2020 period due to slowing global demand and rising labour costs at home, the China Securities Journal quotes a top state adviser as saying.

Li Wei, president of the State Council’s Development Research Centre, made the comments at a conference over the weekend, the newspaper reported today.

“In the last 30 years of reforms and opening up, China’s GDP has posted annual growth of around 10 per cent. Against this, 6.5 per cent is not high, but it will be very difficult to achieve this pace of growth,” he said.

He said main impeding factors were a likely global economic slowdown, rising labour costs that were eroding China’s competitive advantage, and growing environmental concerns which meant the country could not industrialise arable land at as rapid a pace as before.

President Xi Jinping has said that China must keep annual average growth at no less than 6.5 per cent over the next five years to hit the country’s goal of doubling gross domestic product and per capita income by 2020 from 2010.

China is set to release fourth-quarter and full-year GDP data on January 19. It is expected to report 2015 growth cooled to around seven per cent, the slowest in a quarter of a century.