On 18 March 2016, CCIEE held the 81st Monthly Economic Talk on the theme of “Interpretation of the 2016 Government Work Report”. Mr. Zhang Dawei, Vice Chairman, Secretary-General and Deputy CEO of the Executive Office of CCIEE, presided over the talk. Ms. Chen Wenling, Chief Economist and Assistant CEO of CCIEE, Mr. Liu Yingjie, Director-General of Information Department of the Research Institute of the State Council, Mr. Zhu Baoliang, Director of Forecast Department and Chief Economist of the State Information Center, and Mr. Qu Hongbin, Chief Economist of HSBC Greater China, respectively delivered a speech.
Mr. Liu Yingjie briefed the audience on the drafting and review process of the government work report, and its features, focuses and highlights. He pointed out that the essence of this report comes down to three points. First, stay firmly focused on development as the top priority of our work; second, vigorously promote structural reform; and third, shift from old growth drivers to new ones at a faster pace. He also noted that this year’s government work report is a boost of confidence for us to face difficulties head-on, and this is the first time the new thinking and major tasks for China’s economic development have been written into the report.
Ms. Chen Weling gave her interpretation of some of the guidelines the government work report puts forth for the “13th Five-Year Plan” period. She said that the next five years will be crucial in laying a solid foundation for China to grow from a major economy to an economic power. We need to uphold our confidence in our own path and in China’s development. And this confidence is derived from the “tenaciousness”, “resilience” and “elasticity” of China’s economy. Ms. Chen believed that China’s economy still has the explosive strength to reach farther and jump higher for sustainable development, and will be able to leap over “three traps” and meet “four medium-to-high” goals during the next five years.
Mr. Zhu Baoliang made an incisive analysis of the economic situation and downward pressure China is facing and elaborated on the three overarching themes of the report. First, remain firmly committed to development as our top priority; second, steadily advance reform in all fields, and innovate on financial and fiscal policies and monetary policies; and third, develop new economy and sharing economy. He noted that in this curial period of reform, we need to rely on and mobilize the enthusiasm of the vital few, namely the entrepreneurs, innovative personnel and the cadres, and advance reform in accordance with local conditions.
Mr. Qu Hongbin held that China needs to pay close attention to demand management if it wants to achieve sustainable and stable development, especially balanced development. To meet the risks and challenges we are facing, we need to take a two-pronged approach by working on both the supply and demand sides. The supply-side reform cannot solve all the problems. We need demand-side policies to deal with the more general problems.
After the speeches, the experts answered questions from the media and audience. Some of the CCIEE researchers and representatives of its member organizations, relevant enterprises and research institutes and the media attended the event.