China leadership to hold key meeting to finalise 5-year plan

As China's continues to grapple with an economic slowdown, the ruling Communist Party Monday called for a key leadership meeting in October to chalk out the next five-year plan to arrest the trend in the world's second largest economy.

Beijing: As China's continues to grapple with an economic slowdown, the ruling Communist Party Monday called for a key leadership meeting in October to chalk out the next five-year plan to arrest the trend in the world's second largest economy.

The Communist Party of China's (CPC) Central Committee will hold its fifth plenary session in Beijing in October to discuss the 13th five-year plan of national development starting from next year, an official announcement said here.

The five years from 2016 is a critical stage for building a moderately prosperous society in all aspects and the development plan will focus on realising this goal, a CPC Politburo statement said.

Referring to the slowdown, it said China is entering a new normal of economic development and facing not only great strategic opportunities but complicated and tough challenges.

"We need to correctly perceive the fundamental changes and respond to risks and challenges more effectively," it said.

"Upon the solid basis laid in the past three decades of reform and opening-up, we should have firm confidence and strong initiative and pool our resources to realise our goal," state-run Xinhua quoted the statement as saying.

Continuing the focus on economic development, the country will aim at a development pattern of higher quality, efficiency, equality and sustainability, it said.

It will improve marco-control of the economy, maintain a medium-high growth rate and move towards the medium-high development, it said.

China's GDP touched seven percent in the second quarter barely meeting the official target while the official media rebutted criticism that the figures were inflated.

The seven percent GDP in the second quarter which is the target announced by Premier Li Keqiang came as a surprise in the backdrop of steady projections of an economic downturn.

Last week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) maintained its forecast of 6.8 percent for China's economic growth this year.

In its recent World Economic Outlook Update, the IMF forecast the Chinese economy to grow 6.3 percent in 2016 and 6 percent for 2017.

The data showed real GDP rising seven percent from the same period last year.

Besides the slowdown the government is also concerned about stagnating exports, the growth engine for the second largest economy.

China's total foreign trade dropped 6.9 percent year-on -year to 11.53 trillion yuan (USD 1.89 trillion) in the first six months this year, slipping further from a 6 percent dip in the first quarter adding to worries over the slowdown.

Exports rose slightly by 0.9 percent from a year ago, but imports slumped 15.5 percent, weighed down by a gloomy global climate and feeble domestic demand.

Officials say the main concern was the impact of the slowdown on the job market as over seven million fresh graduates come out of universities every year looking for jobs.

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