BEIJING – China kept on Monday its gross domestic product growth target at 6.5 percent for 2018, a year when the opening of the Chinese economy is set to pick up pace.
The world’s second biggest economy had fixed the same growth target for last year, although it exceeded it by registering 6.9 percent growth.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang announced the 2018 target in the opening session of the annual National People’s Congress – the national legislature – and said that China’s innovation capacity has to be stronger and the quality and performance of development needs to be improved.
During the 19th Congress of the Communist Party of China in October, President Xi Jinping stressed the importance of changing the earlier growth model, which focused on quantity and increased debt, to a new one where the quality of development is considered more important.
China will also keep following the path of opening up the economy in 2018, allowing more access to foreign investors in certain sectors, such as manufacturing, finance, telecommunications, medical services, education, elderly care and electric or hybrid vehicles.
The economic model will seek new growth based on innovation and new technologies – such as the internet or data and artificial intelligence – and will be centered on reducing excessive industrial capacity and de-leveraging companies.
The premier also announced the inflation target for 2018, set at around 3 percent for another year.