State Council kicks off drafting of next five-year plan

Premier Li tells ministers the government wants to improve livelihoods but any programme must account for slowing economy

PUBLISHED : Friday, 05 September, 2014, 3:36am
UPDATED : Friday, 05 September, 2014, 7:11pm

The State Council kick-started the drafting of China's next five-year plan, with Premier Li Keqiang meeting ministers this week, state media reported yesterday.

Li told officials to support initiatives that promoted social development, environmental protection and improved people's livelihood, as well as measures to promote fairness and efficiency, media said. The meeting was held on Tuesday but only reported yesterday.

China's 13th five-year plan, which covers development goals for 2016 to 2020, would be key to meeting the policy target of turning the nation into a "moderately well-off" society, and doubling its 2010 GDP and per-capita income. But during the period, China is expected to face a slowdown in economic growth.

Li said officials needed to fully understand the profound changes taking place at the global level, as well as the challenges China faced in its new stage of development.

The premier said the government would encourage more structural reforms, deregulation, technological innovation and entrepreneurship to achieve a more efficient economy, fair society and sustainable development, according to state media reports.

China's annual economic growth picked up slightly to 7.5 per cent in the second quarter from an 18-month low of 7.4 per cent in the January to March period, helped by a series of policy stimulus measures.

A World Bank report in June said that China's economic growth was expected to moderate over the next few years as the economy continued to rebalance amid lower export demand.

It expects the economy to grow by 7.6 per cent this year, supported by local policies and a recovery in global demand, but the rate may slow to 7.5 per cent next year and 7.4 per cent in 2016. In late July, the Politburo said China would look to balance reform, development and stability in the latter half of this year.