China can attain positive economic growth in 2020 and reach its targets for the year, but will only manage to do so after making arduous efforts to overcome risks and challenges, Premier Li Keqiang said on Tuesday.
Speaking during a special virtual dialogue with global business leaders organized by the World Economic Forum, Li said the Chinese economy has maintained a momentum of stable recovery, with 7 million jobs already created in urban areas this year.
He said that China can reach its preset targets for this year if there are no major setbacks in the situation.
Li”s statement was supported by data released on Tuesday by the National Bureau of Statistics, which showed that key indicators such as industry, retail and investment improved markedly in August. The retail sector also recorded its best performance so far this year.
It was no easy task for China, as a developing country with 1.4 billion people, to contain the COVID-19 pandemic within a short time period and ensure the living standards of its people, Li said, adding that the Chinese people have made strenuous efforts and sacrifices during the process.
With small and medium-sized enterprises, micro businesses and the self-employed hit hardest by the pandemic, the government has adopted aid packages for these market players, he said.
China has over 30 million SMEs and micro business as well as 87 million people who are self-employed, and they account for over 80 percent of urban employment.
The country is expected to slash corporate taxes and fees by 2.5 trillion yuan ($368.7 billion) this year, he added.
As it safeguards China’s smaller firms and the self-employed, the government can stabilize the job market and economic fundamentals and secure the foundations of future growth, said the premier.
Li highlighted the importance of restoring international industry and supply chains as early as possible to energize the global economy, saying that joint efforts must be made to promote trade facilitation and investment liberalization.
With China already deeply integrated into the world economy, the nation will remain steadfast inpursuing its opening-up policy and move forward in opening up various sectors, he said.
As the pandemic struck a blow to the already struggling global economy, undermined global trade and impeded industry and supply chains, it is neither appropriate nor possible to seek decoupling in technologies and industries, he said.
The international system and international order with the United Nations at its core must be firmly upheld, and different parties must jointly shoulder responsibilities, cherish the overall environment of peace and development and stick to multilateralism, the premier added.