While facing challenges both at home and abroad, China’s economy has been on a steady recovery path with increased production and demand, stable employment rate and prices, fast-developing driving forces, enhanced quality and efficiency, improved market expectations. All the major macro-economic indicators are demonstrating the steady and sound growth of China’s economy.
China’s economic development features as follows: First, the economic recovery continues with growth. The year-on-year GDP growth for the first quarter was 18.3%, with an average two-year growth of 5.0%; for the second quarter 7.9%, with an average two-year growth of 5.5%. Second, the economic structure is further adjusted and optimized. The role of industries and market consumption were strengthened in driving economic growth; investment grew rapidly in areas needing capital; and urban-rural income gap was narrowed. Third, economic growth driven by innovation has increased continuously. New market entities, industries and products developed rapidly with new business forms and new models growing even stronger. Fourth, both quality and efficiency have been improved. The profits of businesses and fiscal revenues of governments continued to increase, with a rising capacity utilization rate. Fifth, people’s livelihood continues to improve. The employment rate was generally stable (surveyed unemployment rate in urban areas was 5.2%); the level of consumer price rose mildly (up by 0.5% year-on-year); and the growth of resident income is aligned with national economic growth (nationwide per capita disposable income of residents increased by 12% year-on-year).
“The Chinese economy is not a pond, but an ocean”. Despite the severe adverse impact of COVID-19 on the global economy, China’s economy is growing steadily. The optimized and upgraded economy shows extraordinary resilience to pressure. By promoting the free flow of production factors across borders, China contributes significantly to the stabilization and repair of the global supply chain, bringing hope to the bleak world economic outlook. Meanwhile, in order to promote high-quality development, the Chinese government has adopted a series of regulatory measures, such as improving the regulatory system for overseas listing of enterprises, strengthening regulations on tech companies, and easing burdens on families in terms of childbearing, childcare and education etc.. However, these actions have caused some unnecessary doubts and misjudgments about China’s opening-up and economic prospects. As a matter of fact, these measures focus on corporate behaviors that are violating laws and regulations, disrupting normal economic order, undermining the interests of people and national security, rather than to contain or suppress certain industries. Instead, the objective is to promote the healthy development of these industries, while protecting data security and people’s livelihood. What needs to be emphasized is that China’s economic development policy has not changed. China will unswervingly advance the fundamental national policy of reform and opening-up, and promote high-quality development of “Belt and Road” cooperation.
The world is confident in China’s economic prospects. The World Bank Group, in its latest report, raised the forecast of China’s economic growth this year from 8.1% to 8.5% and predicted that China’s contribution to world economic growth would exceed 25%. The International Monetary Fund raised its forecast from 8.1% to 8.4%. Moody’s Investors Service believes that China’s economic rebound has strengthened and become more broad-based since the beginning of this year. S&P predicted that China’s economic growth would reach 8.3% this year. Robert Merton, the Nobel Prize winner in economics, has publicly stated that he “remains optimistic about the future growth of China’s economy” and believes that “after the Pandemic, China’s economic development will become healthier in the future”.
In the globalized economy, the developments of countries are closely entwined, and no one can grow in solitude. The Pandemic has caused severe impact and far-reaching influence on the world economy, but global openness and cooperation remain the historical mainstream and will be even more needed in the post-pandemic era. As the world’s second largest economy, largest FDI recipient, second largest consumer market, largest exporter and second largest importer, China will open its door wider to the outside world; the market opportunities it offers will be more significant; and its connection with the global economy will be even closer. The steady improvement of China’s economy will continue to provide strong impetus for the world economy to return to normal, regain confidence, and resume growth, and offer new development opportunities for other countries, especially the developing ones.
China and Sri Lanka are good neighbors helping out each other, good friends treating each other with respect and trust, and good partners in mutually beneficial cooperation. In recent years, bilateral cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative has achieved fruitful results, and the two countries’ friendship has been further strengthened in our joint fight against the Pandemic. To help Sri Lanka tide over difficulties, the Chinese financial institution provided Sri Lanka with credit lines of USD 1 billion and RMB 2 billion, and China coordinated with AIIB to provide USD 180 million loan as COVID-19 emergency and crisis response facility, which have boosted the confidence of international investors. It is particularly worth mentioning that despite the Pandemic, our bilateral trade reached USD 2.79 billion in the first half of 2021, up by 61% compared to last year, of which Sri Lanka’s exports to China account for USD 276 million, increased by 103.8%. Meanwhile, major breakthroughs have been made in important cooperation projects including Hambantota Port and Colombo Port City, which have attracted large amount of international investment, and played an important role in revitalizing Sri Lanka’s economy and improving people’s livelihood, breaking new ground for attracting FDI and enhancing Sri Lanka’s international competitiveness in the post-pandemic era. China is willing, as always, to welcome Sri Lanka to board its fast train of development, share its development experience, and provide the best possible support for Sri Lanka’s economic and social development, so that the results of our bilateral cooperation could benefit more people in both countries.
- Li Guangjun (Economic and Commercial Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka)