The mainland looks set to miss its five-year targets for the first time in decades as policymakers switch their focus to quality rather than the pace of growth for the world's second-largest economy. In a weekend meeting, Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng said the trade in goods would increase 3.5 per cent this year and services trade would rise more than 10 per cent. Non-financial foreign investment into the mainland would reach US$120 billion and outward investment would exceed US$100 billion, Gao said. All the numbers that were initially included in a report published on the ministry's website on Saturday have been removed, leaving a new version with identical wording. The ministry did not give a reason for the change and calls to its news department yesterday went unanswered. According to the ministry's 12th five-year plan, Beijing aims for total trade of US$4.8 trillion next year, or an average annual growth rate of 10 per cent in the five years from 2011. It also targets an average annual inward foreign direct investment of US$120 billion and total outward investment of US$560 billion during the five years. "These targets now look impossible to reach and this year is a turning point," Shen Jianguang, the chief China economist at Mizuho Securities, told the South China Morning Post . "The leaders' emphasis on 'new normal' growth means these targets are no longer a must to achieve." Policymakers, now working on the next five-year plan, would set lower targets and stress restructuring efforts to improve the efficiency of economic growth, Shen said. Economists have widely expected the mainland to set a 7 per cent growth target for next year after possibly missing this year's goal of 7.5 per cent despite a spate of policy relaxations, including an interest rate cut last month, to boost the economy. As fresh evidence of the economic slowdown, the mainland reported a 4.2 per cent drop in industrial profits last month from a year earlier, the biggest fall since August 2012, adding to pressure for the central bank to ease monetary conditions further. In the revised statement, Gao said his ministry would stick to progressive achievements next year and proactively adjust to "new normal" growth by speeding up the construction of an open economy and cultivating greater competitiveness in foreign trade while balancing inward and outward investment. He did not give any details or specific targets.