Summer Davos: Premier Li defends China's growth rate

Beijing, Sep 11 (IANS) Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said Wednesday that the country's economy has entered a phase of medium and high rate growth, striking an optimistic note of maintaining stable and sustainable development.

Li said a growth of around 7.5 percent is still considered high for any major economy in the world, although it is slower than the double-digit growth in the past, reports Xinhua.

He was delivering the keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2013 in northeast China's port city of Dalian. The forum is also known as the Summer Davos.

He stated that China's economy kept growing by nearly 10 percent annually in the past three decades until the global financial crisis snapped its speed four years ago.

Since then, the world's second largest economy has prioritised quality over speed in a bid to inject more sustainable and vigorous power to guarantee future growth.

The government targets an annual GDP growth of 7.5 percent for 2013.

"As the economy enters a phase of transformation, the slowdown of its prospective growth and moderation of the Chinese economy from a high speed to a medium to high speed are only natural." Li told the meeting.

"Now the new season of the Chinese economic miracle, one of better quality and higher efficiency, is unveiled," he noted.

China's future growth must be bolstered by resource conservation and environment protection, and driven by technological innovation and advance.

It has to be a growth with sufficient employment and growing household income, he added.

"Looking ahead, I see bright prospects for China's development," Li said.

He also pointed out that the process of industrialisation and urbanisation is far from being completed in China, which promises a big room for regional development and huge market potential. Reform is bound to unleash fresh institutional vitality.

"We are well placed to sustain a healthy economic growth in the long run. And we will achieve the sustained and sound growth of the Chinese economy," he said.

The theme of New Champions 2013 is 'Meeting the Innovation Imperative'. The forum will feature interactive discussions on issues ranging from sustainable growth, energy security to trade and investment.

More than 1,500 delegates from 90 countries and regions are participating in the three-day forum.

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