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Top China officials sound alarm on exports, growth

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Top China officials sound alarm on exports, growth Empty Top China officials sound alarm on exports, growth

Post by lexie Mon Dec 05, 2011 8:55 am

Dec 05, 2011 01:24 EST

Top China officials sound alarm on exports, growth

Leading Chinese officials have painted a gloomy picture for the nation's exports -- a key engine of growth -- warning that the global slowdown threatened the world's second largest economy.

Vice Premier Wang Qishan, China's top finance official, at the weekend urged companies to help guarantee a "stable increase" in exports amid slowing external demand, the official Xinhua news agency said late Sunday.

"The severe and complex world economic situation will inevitably mean global demand is insufficient," Wang said while visiting the northeast province of Liaoning.

To maintain exports, Wang said companies should make their products more competitive while the government would lessen the tax burden on exporters and offer financial support, especially for small firms.

China's exports rose 15.9 percent year on year to $157.49 billion in October, but the total was down from $169.7 billion in September, due to falling demand caused by the economic woes in Europe and the United States.

The data, coupled with figures released Thursday showing China's manufacturing activity contracted in November for the first time in 33 months, has caused concern that the Asian powerhouse is losing steam.

Beijing last week cut bank reserve levels for the first time in three years to help boost lending and spur growth to counter alarming signs of a domestic slowdown and the crisis in key export markets.

And in comments also published late Sunday, Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming warned that the global slowdown could hurt the nation's economic growth next year.

"Under the influence of the contracting international economy and market, China's economic growth next year may slow slightly," Chen said, according to a statement posted on the commerce ministry website.

China's economy grew an annual 9.1 percent in the third quarter this year, slowing from the 9.5 percent in the second quarter and 9.7 percent in the first, official figures showed.

Source: AFP Asian Edition


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