The spotlight is currently on China as the country’s leaders convene yet again for the annual parliament meeting, popular as two sessions, in Beijing.
This is especially the case given the outbreak of Covid-19 that has disrupted world economies at a scale never seen before.
The global reality is that the contagion will bring the economies of almost the entirety of world nations to their feet. This is because major sectors powering economies have grounded ever since the outbreak was reported.
In a clear departure from past traditions, Chinese government has decided not to set a specific annual economic growth target for the year 2020. Instead the Communist party led administration says it will focus on maintaining the prevailing economic conditions, while prioritizing the welfare of its citizens.
“Not setting a specific target for economic growth will enable all of us to concentrate on ensuring the fundamentals of our economy are stable.” Premier Li Keqiang said.
Speaking while delivering the government’s work report at the Great Hall of the People, the country’s Premier Li Keqiang noted that “due to the impact of the pandemic, it is very difficult to predict the ultimate growth rate of the country’s economy.”
“Our country will face some factors that are difficult to predict in its development due to the great uncertainty regarding the Covid-19 pandemic and the world economic and trade environment,” Premier Li said.
In the 2020 work report, issues such as job security, basic living needs, operations of market entities, food and energy security, stable industrial and supply chains, and the normal functioning of primary-level governments will be given priority.
Indeed, the epidemic has taken a huge toll on the Chinese economy and even though it is expected to rebound with the government’s supportive policies, China appears to have taken full account of the difficulties, risks and uncertainties involved, prompting it to act with a sense of urgency.
To cushion its citizens from the impact of the pandemic, President Xi Jinping’s-led government is promising to further cut tax and fees for enterprises with an aim of reducing their corporate burden, while stepping up financial support for stable business operations.
“At present and for some time to come, China will face risks and challenges like never before,” Premier Li acknowledged
He, however, noted that China has a unique political and institutional strengths, alongside a strong economic foundation, enormous market potential, and hundreds of millions of intelligent and hardworking people to enable it overcome all these challenges.
The report highlights the importance of stabilizing the employment market with a target of over 9 million jobs to be created this year alone.
Premier Li also emphasized that failure to set a specific target does not mean China has abandoned its resolve to achieve steady growth.
The Chinese government is expressing confidence that its economy still has bright prospects to support the local development aspirations while at the same time fulfilling its obligations to global partners.
The year 2020 is special for China, as the country is in its final push to eliminate absolute poverty and build a moderately prosperous society in all respects. In this plan, the government has endeavored to provide adequate housing, medical facilities as well as other public services to the people.